Accenture Match Play interview: Matt Kuchar

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February 23, 2013

MORE INTERVIEWS: WGC-Accenture Match Play transcript archive

LAURA NEAL: We'd like to welcome Matt Kuchar to interview room. Matt defeated Robert Garrigus and now back in the semifinals. Maybe give us a quick recap on the day today.

MATT KUCHAR: Yeah, it's nice to be still alive and playing tomorrow. Robert today gave me a couple holes early. I got off to a nice lead, and then I stumbled a little bit there kind of three‑quarters into the round and kind of felt like we were back in a battle again.

I was pretty excited to hit some good shots on 14, 15 and 16 to be able to close him out and be able to hopefully go home soon and get some rest.

Q. How crucial will stamina be tomorrow?

MATT KUCHAR: I think most of us out here are pretty fit. I'm certainly tired now, but come tomorrow I think there will be a lot of adrenaline. I think we'll all go to bed pretty easily tonight and have a good night's sleep. I'm not sure ‑‑ I think physical stamina, you look at the guys left, I don't think there's anybody that's going to be struggling to make 36 holes tomorrow. Mentally could be a different story. Playing match play is, I think, more challenging, and trying to do that for 36 holes could be a little bit more mentally taxing. But I think the guys left in the field will be ‑‑ won't have much problem with that.

Q. When you have two matches like you did today and you have a lead on the back nine, are you more aggressive to try to get out of there a little early when you know you have such a long day?

MATT KUCHAR: That's certainly in my mind. I was hoping to get things done earlier than I did just to be able to go back home and rest up a little bit more.

Yeah, I think you try to ‑‑ always try to extend your lead, I think, regardless if it's an 18‑hole match or a 36‑hole day. You always keep on trying to extend the lead and close a guy out.

Q. Has it been nice not to have to play 18 at all this week?

MATT KUCHAR: Yes, yes, it has been nice not to have to take a match that far. I think you've always got to be prepared, but I think any time you can close a match out early, it's always an extra bonus.

Q. You were mentioning one of the last two days about it's nice to have a different type of event as opposed to straight stroke play every week. Are you made for match play, and is there any part of your game that works well at that format?

MATT KUCHAR: I enjoy it. I still feel like match play there's definitely some luck of the draw. I mean, you can just play great and get a hot guy and go home early. But it's an event I definitely enjoy. I know my wife gets here and she claims this is her favorite event of the year. I think she comes from a tennis background where it's all match play, and so she really enjoys this event.

For me I think my game is just a steady game. I'm going to try to never give a guy a hole, and I think that's a big key in match play, just not giving holes away. If there's any strength to my game, I think that would be it.

Q. I know you've played a lot of match play, but did you learn anything specifically from last year's Ryder Cup that you're applying this week?

MATT KUCHAR: No, no, I think it's just experience. Any time you gain some experience, you gain some confidence and feel more comfortable. And the more comfortable you are out here, I think the better you play. That may be the only thing is some experience and some comfort with it.

Q. Years ago ‑‑ you have a special affinity for this question. Years after one of the Ryder Cup matches, Tom Lehman said if we played match play every week, we'd be as bad as the tennis players. Do you have a sense of what he meant by that?

MATT KUCHAR: I know that with tennis players it's head‑to‑head, they're there to strictly beat the opponent. But you're not returning the opponent's shots ever. It's still ‑‑ I still feel like match play, you still have to play the course, so I think there's definitely a difference there. You're not ever having an opponent blow one by you.

I still feel like golfers would still play the golf course, still strategize a little bit trying to play according to the shot their opponent has hit. But for the most part it's different in that you still have the golf course to fight.

LAURA NEAL: Matt, thanks so much. Good luck tomorrow.

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