Matt Kuchar: a man traveling well

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Kuchar and his wife Sybi with the boys Cameron and Carson celebrate his victory in Mexico. Image: Getty

& # 39; Extra sweet & # 39 ;, he called it. And why not?

Four years after his previous PGA Tour victory, Matt Kuchar arrives in the lakes of the #AusOpenGolf of this week as an eight-time winner of the biggest and most lucrative circuit of golf. On the 29th place of the world, the 40-year-old American is also the highest placed player in the field for the 103rd playing of this historic event

That is not the norm. Strangely seen how well he plays in almost every event, Matt Kuchar rarely attracts attention to himself. Not too often winning is part of the character of the long Floridian under the radar. But so is the nature of his game.

If the size of a golfer is the quality of his bad photos, then this former American Amateur champion is never a gong that generates too much fanatic enthusiasm. Only rarely can he be found in nowhere more exciting than semi-rough or occasionally a green side bunker. If a high level of performance is your thing, the Kuchar is your man, a fact that the lovable father of two is proud of. To a certain extent, at least.

"I want to be known as more than the man who is consistent every week," he says. "I want to have a season in which I have multiple victories, even a great week can definitely be a year, but I never want to be someone who, say, has five decent weeks every season and does nothing for the rest of the time. nice that my level of performance is high and that I do not miss six-eight cuts every year.

"I feel like I should have won a lot more times, there have been a handful of events where I've played very well, but someone has just been better, that kind of" defeats "that I do not worry about. I put myself in position, played well and was simply defeated, you can not do much about that. "

One of those events was of course the Open Championship 2017 in Royal Birkdale. Kuchar played some brilliant things that week, but was defeated by an inspired last six holes from compatriot Jordan Spieth. It was, understandably, a huge disappointment.

"It is difficult to explain," he said in the immediate aftermath. "It's overwhelming, it does very well, and it's an excitement and a kick to have played well, to start a fight, to start a fight, to work so hard to reach this position. to make history and win a championship, you do not get so many opportunities, and to be so close, to taste it with five holes, it's hard to sit back and take. "

That is not to say that there have been more than a few Kuchar moments that are worthy of any highlight reel. In no particular order, he picked up the 2009 Arnold Palmer Prize as the biggest money winner in America, the Vardon trophy in 2010 for the lowest score average of that year, the 2011 World Cup (in collaboration with compatriot Gary Woodland) and, most memorable victory in the Players Championship of 2012.

So Kuchar is obviously the golfer, in possession of a solid and repetitive technique – one that is unusually "flat" for a man who is 192 centimeters long – and, as he showed about the closing 18-holes at Royal Birkdale, significant nerve under pressure. But perhaps, because all those weeks spent in the margin of contention have translated into "only" eight wins from the PGA Tour, his most striking feature remains the admittedly goofy-looking grin that seems to be permanently under his rapidly receding hairline.

Kuchar has also been a member of four U.S. Ryder Cup parties and was one of the assistant leaders of Jim Furyk during the recent Paris matches.

"I really enjoyed all my Ryder Cups," he says. "I will never forget to walk to the first T-piece at Celtic Manor in 2010. It was wet, cold and miserable, but the stands were packed in. The fans pounded so hard that I thought the whole thing would collapse. was such a cool atmosphere There was so much energy and noise I like playing at home but being in Europe and hearing all the songs is special. "

So Kuchar is a man who tends to travel well – his most recent victory sometime before last week came at the 2015 Fiji International – a fact that his rivals would do well to notice in the next few days. He may not win the coveted Stonehaven Cup, but it is a safe bet that his name will be on the leaderboard somewhere Sunday afternoon.

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