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August 3, 2016

Matt Kuchar

Cromwell, Connecticut

THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Matt Kuchar into the interview room. He is making his 9th start at the Travelers Championship. His best finish here was a tied for 8th place in 2012.

Welcome back to the Travelers. If we can get your comments on being here.

MATT KUCHAR: Yeah, thank you. It's exciting for me to come back. I made my first visit here, I can't remember the year, but it was the Cannon Cup. It was like the junior Ryder Cup for AJGA.

As a kid any time you got to go play a course that the pros play, you're just an amateur and you think it's the coolest thing. I've always held TPC River Highlands in high regards. I can remember so many things from that Cannon Cup, and now I've been back a number of times.

My grandparents live not far down the road in Madison, Connecticut, so I've always got a pull coming up to this place. I'm really excited to be back. It's a great golf course. As my golfing education has increased even from the junior days, I continue to really enjoy this golf course.

Finishing holes are a lot of fun. I've not yet seen the tweaks to the golf course. I think everybody was sure to tell them not to change too much of the golf course, much like Tampa did this past year.

Tampa has been a favorite. When they were redoing the golf course they wanted to make sure it pretty much stayed the same. I understand that same process kind of happened here. They just made the bunkers look a little different, positioned them a little different, but the course I think is the same, which sounds to be a great thing because it is a great golf course.

THE MODERATOR: And you come into the week No. 18 in the FedExCup; you've have 6 top 10 finishes in the last nine starts. Just comment a little bit about this run for you.

MATT KUCHAR: Yeah, this is busy part of the summer. I think we all knew when the schedule came out last year that this was going to be an awfully busy part of the year, a part of the year you hope to be playing pretty well.

Had a couple nice events. Unfortunately last two majors haven't been my best performances. Had the weekend off last week. Went to up Friar's Head Golf Club where my coach is working for the summer and spent the weekend with him. I had a wonderful weekend, and now I'm glad to be here.


Q. Matt, you've got the Travelers Championship this week and next week a really big event for you. You're excitement about heading to Rio?
MATT KUCHAR: It's funny. I'm very good about taking things a week, a day at time. I'm really excited to be here at Travelers. This is an event that I would love to put my name on the list of champions. I think it's a great golf course. I've got a lot of family ties to the area.

I'm very focused here and would like to play really here, but my excitement is building for next week for sure. I got all my gear last night. That's always a really cool process. Getting the gear, it just becomes very real. So that was fun. Did my best to sort through it, to do some laundry, to clean it up and get a bit organized.

I'm going to do my best to put my focus this week -- I figure for me to try to play my best next week is to try to play my best this week and keep it going.

Q. You're paired with Bubba and Patrick over the next few days. How much Olympic talk do you think there will be between you three? And even though it is an individual stroke-play event, do you feel like you're sort of all on the same team? Are you rooting for those guys as well as yourself during Olympics week?
MATT KUCHAR: Now, I may be miss-informed or just don't know. You may have to help me. Is there no team format at all? I remember we did Wold Cup a couple years ago and the idea was it was an individual -- this is down in Australia -- it was individual, yet the two scores would be combined.

When they first talked about it, if there were four Americans it was the two highest ranked and they were going to combine the scores for a team event.

There is no combined? No team event whatsoever? Just an individual. We did the same thing at World Cup: 72 hole stroke play. I played with Kevin Streelman. We never played together but we did represent the United States in a team format.

That was my initial impression of what was happening with the Olympics, but I'm incorrect on that.

Q. If Bubba wins you don't get a medal.
MATT KUCHAR: No, I knew -- from my understanding it was supposed the to be Bubba and Rickie. They were the two highest seeded Americans. Their combined score I thought was going to be the team part. There is no combination, no team at all? Okay. (Laughter.)

I certainly was never going to be part of the team, or at least when I became part of the team I knew wasn't in the top two. I knew I wasn't playing for any sort of team medal. I knew I was strictly there as an individual, and I will be going on an individual.

So back to your question of will we be cheering for each other, absolutely. I think that's the nature of the golf. You certainly pull for your friends. When you got teammates you pull for them. It is an individual game. We'll all be shooting for gold. You certainly hope if it's not yourself it's one of your teammates.

Q. Matt, you talked about how packed the summer schedule is. How tough was it to make out the schedule versus previous years not knowing where stuff was in the schedule? Was it tougher than usual or not as bad?
MATT KUCHAR: No, I just knew it would be jam packed. It wasn't hard to plan out. I just knew it would be very busy. You can't say no to the British Open, Canadian Open, the PGA Championship, Bridgestone Invitational. Those are all yes, yes, yes.

So I just -- no, it wasn't hard it plan. It was just going to be busy.

Q. On the nationalistic theme here, Ryder Cup, your thoughts about that and will be playing Wyndham?
MATT KUCHAR: I think Ryder Cup is going to be awfully exciting again. I will not be playing Wyndham, but certainly -- there aren't many years where the Ryder Cup is not exciting.

Q. Have you been an Olympic guy growing up? Any particular sport that was particularly compelling for you?
MATT KUCHAR: I'm a fan of all sport. Certainly big fan of the Olympics. When it comes around every four years I'm locked into the TV excited to watch any and everything.

I think one of the coolest things about the Olympics are the personal interest stories. The guy from nowhere that's kind of come from nothing that's now turned himself into an Olympian.

I think the personal interest stories are always amazing. NBC does a great job with those. Those are favorites of mine. To see somebody from a small country you never thought would've a chance, and here he is with a chance to compete in the Olympics. Those are great stories.

I'm a fan of the unique sports. I love learning something different. We went last year to the PanAm Games and took my kids to watch handball. Not a popular sport where we live, but something different to show the kids.

I'm a fan of all the racquet sports. I love to see table tennis, badminton. Just some of the obscure sports I think are fun for me and cool to watch.

Q. With other golfers bypassing the Olympics for various reasons, did that thought go through your head at all?
MATT KUCHAR: I had my fingers crossed that some golfers would bypass the Olympics. Fingers crossed that some would do that.

Q. Did you consider it?
MATT KUCHAR: Oh, no. I had fingers crossed that they would so I would have a chance to accept. Yes.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Matt.

MATT KUCHAR: Thanks a lot.

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