June 7, 2019
Q. The approach to 18, one of the best we've seen on the day. Punctuating 63 with birdies on 16 were 17, 18. How did you finish with such force?
MATT KUCHAR: Yeah, that pin on 18 is tough. We had kind of a debate, John and I, my caddie on 18, the approach shot. Yesterday I had a 6-iron from same front edge distance is that came up middle of the green. It was warmer today. I thought if I just held a 5 it was going to be perfect, and worked out. Pulled off the shot.
That's a hard hole having a 5-iron approach shot to get back to that back pin. To come up there and see it six, eight feet short, straight uphill putt, I couldn't have asked for much better.
Q. One bogey through two rounds. What's the stress level been like here at Hamilton Golf & Country Club?
MATT KUCHAR: There is definitely stress level. I have had a number of good par saves. This place, if you get offline, if you're in the rough, if you miss greens, they're tricky up and downs, they're tricky par saves.
I've done a good job of kind of managing and giving myself some chances. Saved pars, but thrown in some awfully good play as well with a handful of birdies.
Q. Couple wins this season, couple runner-up finishes. How have your internal expectations shifted from, say, October to where they are now?
MATT KUCHAR: Yeah, it was a great run kind of through early April. It was a really solid stretch for me. I understand golf is fickle game. It's a hard game. You never own it. You never master it. Just keep on trying to get better. That's been my mind frame: just continue to try to improve.
Had a nice session with my coach, Chris McConnell. Came up couple early days Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, so we're still work ing, still refining, and always trying to get better. That's been the mind frame.
Q. Just shot 63 to get into the tie for the lead. Finished with three birdies. How good did that feel?
MATT KUCHAR: It was great. 16 was a front right pin, which suits my fade pretty well and I executed a really good shot.
Up and down on 17 from a wedge and then amazing approach into 18. It's a hard hole. To walk off there with a par you're happy; birdie, you're ecstatic.
Q. What's pleased you most about your play over these first two days?
MATT KUCHAR: I'm really enjoying the golf course. Good shots are rewarded with birdie opportunities; bad shots get penalized. This rough is nasty. The greens are pitched in such a way where you don't want to be chipping very often around here. You want to find yourself on the green with kind of uphill putts if you can get them.
Really enjoyed coming and playing this golf course.
Q. Is one of the beauties of this golf course the fact that you're out there playing with Webb Simpson and Rory McIlroy, who plays a very different game to you and Webb and yet you could all win here.
MATT KUCHAR: It is one of the I think alluring charms to this golf course. I watched Rory go around and he's playing fantastic golf and certainly has the potential to win anywhere. But a course like this, definitely is a place he can win.
Then guys like Webb and I have a chance as well.
Q. What about going into the weekend in this position? Tremendous year so far. How much can you draw on all that experience over the weekend here?
MATT KUCHAR: It's been a great run. I hope to continue to play the way I've done over the first two days over the weekend, but my run up to this point has been a whole lot fun. Golf is lots of fun when you're making birdies. I've been enjoying it and hope to continue.
Q. Tied for the lead through 36. Just assess that position. You've been in that position this season a couple times. Looking to finish it off.
MATT KUCHAR: Yeah, I'm very pleased. Two days of good golf. Some good scrambling, some good scoring, some nice play as well, so it's been two days of very good golf.
Very much enjoying the golf course. I think it's a great test of golf. Good shots are rewarded with birdie opportunities; bad shots go penalized and you're really scrambling for pars.
Thankfully I've been hitting a lot more good than bad shots.
Q. With your trio, what's it like playing at the top of your game alongside others who are doing do, too?
MATT KUCHAR: Yeah, we had a great group. Everybody on good form. It's always interesting to see how Rory can attack a golf course. Webb and kind of plot our way around, but Rory can really do some attacking on occasion. It's awesome to watch.
The three of us played some great golf today. There was whole lot birdies made.
Q. Expect you're going to need a lot more of those birdies going into the weekend?
MATT KUCHAR: Yeah. It seems like with this weather the course drying out a bit, I know very 1st hole I found the fairway, had a wedge in my hand, landed it pin high and it skipped into the back rough.
If greens continue to firm up birdies are going to be harder and harder to come by. They're still just soft enough that you feel like you can be fairly aggressive, but if the sun shines and wind blows, probably not going to see a many birdies.
It's a fun test.
Q. Three birdies to finish is strong, but how important were the up and downs a few holes before that to keep the momentum?
MATT KUCHAR: Yeah, you're right. Like I said, this course punishes some bad shots. Really makes you kind of grind away for pars. Had to do that I think it was 13, 14, 15.
Those are key, I think. A lot of us just dread bogeys, dread giving shots away, probably dread giving them away more than you enjoy the birdies. So to save those pars was awfully good. To close the way I did with 16, 17, 18 -- I think most guys 17 you're looking to make birdie, but to finish with three straight was great.
Q. What is it about playing outside of the country that seems to bring out the best in your game?
MATT KUCHAR: I like playing in the country, too. Certainly have a great time up here. Amazing support by the local crowds here. It's been fun to see great galleries following our group, and seems like just out here as whole people are out enjoying the golf, enjoying the good play.
I'm enjoying being out in front of them.
Q. As the FedExCup leader coming in here, do you feel any additional pressure leading?
MATT KUCHAR: I do my best not to look and pay attention. Try to stay focused on the task at hand, and the task at hand is putting the ball in the fairway and from there figuring out what to do.
I think I do a pretty good job of just trying to be as much in the moment as possible.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports