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Home KUCHAR FINDS A WAY TO GET BACK ON HIS HORSE:

Its been said time and time again, that when you get knocked down, its best to get right back up. Sometimes that’s easier said than done. Matt Kuchar is back on his feet despite suffering a tough loss on Sunday at the Open Championship. “It is one of the great things about the game of golf, and maybe sport in general. It's pretty easy to leave the past in the past when Thursday gets here. It's a whole new week. Nobody cares what you did last week. Win, lose, whatever it may be; it's a fresh start,” he said prior to teeing it up at the RBC Canadian Open. “I certainly remember the Ryder Cup at Medinah being a really difficult loss. I think I played two or three weeks after that, and it was great to get back into competition again and to kind of just put Ryder Cup behind and say, you know what, it's time to re-tee it again. I've got to go out and perform.”


Kuchar acknowledged coming close on Sunday was tough for him. “It was hard but I certainly don't feel like I lost it. I had a one-shot lead with five holes to go. I played the next four holes 2-under par. I felt like I played good quality golf, and Jordan Spieth put on an amazing, probably one of the great closing stretches in major championship history,” he said. “When something like that happens, nothing you can do but tip your hat and say, well done. He certainly teased me through 13 holes with a chance at it. It helps when I look back at the situation, the scenario, and certainly I didn't give it away. I didn't lose it. Jordan played incredible. He won it.

“Jordan was playing poor golf through 13 holes. I thought I was just going to keep plotting along, and once he hit his drive on 13, I was figuring, I was going to end up with a two-shot lead with five to go,” he continued. “He made an amazing up-and-down to save bogey, and so I still end up with a one-shot lead, and he was not on good form at that point. I thought I was definitely the one playing the better golf and was going to keep plotting along. He nearly made a hole-in-one. He hit just a perfect shot on 14. So now we're even. Great, even with four to go. Good place to be. I feel like I'm playing the better golf. After we hit our second shots, he had a clear advantage on 15 but I knew my bunker shot, I was going to have a good shot at birdie. I hit a great bunker shot to three feet and knew that I was going to make that for birdie, and probably be tied with three to go. He makes the putt for eagle and I go, all right, 1-down with three to go.Certainly still in this. Feeling good,” he recalled. “I hit two good shots. Came up just short. He hits a drive in the rough and a shot on the green. Great shot to 25 feet or so and makes the putt. I'm 2-down, two to go. I'm still in this. He hits a bad drive on 17. I hit a poor drive on 17, as well. And we're kind of neck-and-neck there. I hit a good wedge. He hits a great wedge. I make my putt thinking, I'm still in this. And he makes his putt on top of me, and go, yeah, I'm not out totally. 18, you know, he could make bogey. I could make birdie. Still had hopes. When he put it on the green, I find myself with a flyer lie that I knew I didn't have much control over. I thought, chances are slim. With 40 feet, possible to 3-putt and when I found my ball plugged in the bunker, there weren't many chances from there. But still, held out hope and thought it was doable. I continued playing some good, steady golf. And Jordan, what a show he put on. That was impressive stuff.”

Kuchar noted that winning isn’t as easy at it sometimes appears. “Winning majors is a tough thing. Winning golf tournaments out here as a whole is a tough thing. Hard to peak at the right time. I think all of us get hot at some point in a year, at some point in a career. There are some lucky ones that get hot at the right time, and the great ones kind of stay hot,” he said.

Perhaps he was able to accept the outcome a little easier when he was surprised by his family after he finished his 72nd hole at Royal Birkdale. “An amazing gesture for them to be there and support. Was difficult on me to see the kids in tears knowing their dad didn't win.It's an interesting position as a father. When your kids are young, they look up to you like you're Superman. Kind of you're their hero. You're the one to protect them and save them and to do great things. And when it doesn't work out and you aren't the hero holding the trophy, it's saddening, as well. I saw the look in their eyes, and I wanted to be that guy. So I was a little bit broken myself that I wasn't that guy,” he said. “But golf is a very, very humbling game, and amazing the lessons you learn. We had a similar situation in Houston, probably three or four years ago. I was right there looking like I was going to win the tournament. I bogey the 18th, end up going in a playoff with Matt Jones and he chips in in a playoff to beat me. So my kids were busted that I didn't win,” he said. “We had a flight getting home that got delayed, and we went to a bowling alley and killed some time. I had to tell them, I said, ‘Listen, you do your best. You play your best, you try on every shot, and sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn't. You have to learn that these things happen.’ There are such great lessons that come from golf. You know, this was one of them. I did my best. I tried my hardest and it didn't work out. Certainly going to keep trying. And so it's hard when you don't come through as Superman, but it's lessons that I think will pay dividends in the long run.”

Its hard not to root for Kuchar in the future given his class in defeat and his feet planted on the ground for the sake of his family. “Certainly I did kind of all I could last week, and I had one guy out-play me. You never know in the game of golf what you need to do to get in that winner's circle. I feel like I've put the work in. I feel like I've paid the dues. I feel like I did the right preparation,” he said. Perhaps a major championship is in his future to go with his bronze medal from last summer’s Olympics.