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April 12, 2018

Matt Kuchar

Hilton Head, South Carolina

MATT KUCHAR: To get a couple of those coming in, not easy holes, particularly the 8th hole was a big birdie. To cap off a good wedge shot. And the 9th I think is such a fun hole. So many things can happen. I was able to make a good tee shot and get my wedge in close and a great way to finish the round.

Q. I don't know if you've had more ideal scoring conditions than you guys had this morning. The greens seemed receptive?
MATT KUCHAR: It's funny, you stand in certain pockets and it feels like there's no breeze at all. And then you get elsewhere on the course and you go I'm not sure really what's happening right now. The breeze picks up in different areas. It is a tricky course to figure out the wind and the different little pockets, because not often are you playing above the tree line here, seems like you're always playing underneath the tree line. What the wind does down the tunnels is sometimes hard to figure out.

Q. You're an RBC Ambassador, you've won here before. 50th event here, Arnie won the first time, how special is this place for you?
MATT KUCHAR: This is one of my favorite events all year on the PGA Tour. I love coming here. I stay with good friends from Atlanta. I think the golf course is one of the best courses we play during the year. They have amazing local support. It's an event every year that I circle on the calendar. This is always a fun one to play.

Q. Kind of a nice week after the Masters?
MATT KUCHAR: It's a great week, one of my favorites.

Q. Excellent start today, 66. Obviously you've had great success around here. What is it in particular that suits you so well?
MATT KUCHAR: I really do enjoy this golf course. I have had awfully good success today, and it's a tournament I seem to play well on. This course, every time I come, I really enjoy it. You know, going in, you know you're going to have to shape shots, you know you're going to have to work your golfball. There will be times you're in the fairway without a clean shot at the green. 8th hole today I drove it on the left side of the fairway and had a play a little draw underneath some tree limbs. There's so much variety here. I think it's great fun to play.

Q. You had a really good second nine, up and down on the first nine, how important is focus and patience around here?
MATT KUCHAR: It's a tricky course here. There are pockets of the golf course today where it felt like there was no wind at all and you could really take advantage. And other areas of the golf course you weren't really sure what the wind was doing. It was a good 10, 15 miles an hour, and you didn't know if it was helping off the left or hurting off the left.

You don't often play above the tree line. It feels like here you tend to work below the tops of the trees. And so the wind tends to funnel down these tunnels, and sometimes it can do different things on two subsequent holes.

Q. After the intensity of last week, how much of a nice change of speed is this week?
MATT KUCHAR: I think this is a fun week. This is one of my favorites of the year. I always look forward to this. We stay with some good friends from Atlanta that have a home here. It's a low key week.

The golf course certainly is no push over. You've got to come here to play. But once you get on these greens, you feel if you hit the ball in the center of the greens you have a makeable birdie putt. Last week you were still stressed out with wherever you were on the putting greens last week.

Q. You always look pretty relaxed. Will you go back and get on the beach and relax a little bit?
MATT KUCHAR: Play with the kids, get on the tennis courts, maybe even play a little golf. The kids are getting into golf so I'm sure it will be an active afternoon.

Q. 66 to get things going here, your opening round at Harbour Town, how would you characterize the day?
MATT KUCHAR: I got off to a great start, I had a tap-in birdie on the first hole, my 10th hole. I hit two great shots into No. 11, made an eight foot for birdie and 2-under through 2 was great. Let one go on the 17th.

But had a wonderful second nine, actually started off a little slow. That birdie on the second par 5, you kind of count on making a birdie. But from there on in, really good golf. I enjoy playing, and to start out with a 5-under par round I'm awfully pleased.

Q. Why has the marriage between you and this golf course worked so well? A past champion, four other top-10s in 13 straight times here. Why does it work so well?
MATT KUCHAR: I'm not sure. I don't know. There's part of it coming off Masters week and working so hard to try to get the game in form. Part of it I love playing here and having to shape shots into different greens. 8th hole today I drove it off the left side of the fairway and had to hit a low drop shot through some trees, I didn't have a clear shot at all. It forces you to hit all sort of unique shots and it's something I really enjoy doing.

Q. Wesley said that there were a little bit too many Kuch's for his liking with two South Carolina guys in here. How much have you embraced the fan favorite role here?
MATT KUCHAR: This is such a great week. One of my favorites of the year. I love coming to this tournament. It's such good local support. Really great crowds. And to play with the world No. 1. To play with kind of a local boy in Wesley Bryan, the defending champion. We had great crowds. It was good energy. I think all three of us were playing awfully well today.

Q. How do you assess your round?
MATT KUCHAR: I'm very pleased, started off with two birdies to open my round. And that was a great way to start. From there it was kind of slow and steady. The 8th is a hole I was just looking to get by, and to go ahead and get birdie there was nice.

Q. How were the conditions this morning?
MATT KUCHAR: There were pockets of the golf course that felt like that was calm and still and no wind at all. And then areas of the golf course where it felt like it was blowing pretty good. Some of these holes, because you don't often play above the tree line, you typically play underneath, and some of these holes it feels like it becomes a wind tunnel where the wind goes through and changes direction.

Q. What about this course suits your game?
MATT KUCHAR: Hard to tell. Pete Dye and I have gotten along awfully well. My track record for Pete Dye courses have been awfully good. This course definitely goes down as one of my favorites. Anytime I get asked my favorite events of the year, this one is way up on my list.

Q. Have you had moments when you compared back to 2014? When you think of some of the shots today, what's it going to take to win this again another time?
MATT KUCHAR: The course is a little bit softer than it's been in the past, particularly in '14 it was fast. Last year was really fast. This place to win it takes four good rounds. I've got one down, so three to go, so a lot of golf left.

Q. The week started off kind of crappy, but today was a beautiful day. Just how were the scoring conditions today?
MATT KUCHAR: Congratulations on that. Well done. Well done. Tuesday was a harsh day. Yesterday was a nice day. And it would be great if we get three more days like this. I think everybody works so hard to put on a good score show here, and to get good weather is a big help.

Q. What do you take from your game today to bring to Friday and the weekend?
MATT KUCHAR: I have an afternoon tee time tomorrow. I'm not sure what conditions will be like. But certainly very pleased with my performance today. Pretty steady. A lot of fairways. A lot of greens. Once you get on these greens you feel like you have a chance to make putts. To come from last week where getting on the green doesn't mean very much, you still had a lot of work to go, just on the putting surface.

Here the greens are very makeable, mostly flat. If you get on you feel like you've got a chance to make birdie.

Q. How do you assess the stark differences and the challenges between last week and this week?
MATT KUCHAR: Very different. You've got a flat course, it's easy to walk. I think the big difference is how challenging the walk is from last week to this week. This is a pleasure to get around this course. Here we've got much, much tighter fairways with the trees overhanging. But if you miss a fairway here you don't feel like you're penalized like if you miss a fairway at Augusta. The greens are so severe that you need to have all the control possible, the golf ball spin included. But here you miss a fairway, they give you a chance to play a nice recovery shot and feel like you've got a chance to still making par or even birdie.

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