SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Matt Kuchar didn’t play in the PGA Championship the first time it was held at Whistling Straits, in 2004.
That doesn’t mean he didn’t think about the place – quite a bit, actually.
“I used to look at a lot of golf books, and I always tried to guess on a picture where the hole was before I read the caption,” the 32-year-old said. “This place threw me every time. I thought, ‘Man, that looks cool, that’s got to be Ireland somewhere.’
“Then I would look at it and it said, Kolher, Wisconsin.”
He’s certainly off to a textbook start. Kuchar, who has piled up a career-best eight top-10 finishes already this year and has nearly cemented his first Ryder Cup berth, was tied for the lead with four other players at 4 under par Thursday when play was suspended at the 92nd PGA Championship because of darkness.
Kuchar started fast with a birdie on his first hole, then knocked a wedge in the cup from 124 yards for an eagle on the 13th, his fourth hole. Just had similar shot on the previous hole.
“It was kind of fresh in my mind how hard to hit that same club,” he said. “It looked good the whole way, took two bounces and dropped in.
Kuchar, 32, has four holes left to complete in a round that was delayed more than three hours because of heavy fog. Those stranded on the course in the postponed afternoon wave are set to report to the courtesy vans at 6:40 a.m. Friday, with play set to resume at 7.
The genetically upbeat Kuchar, as usual, smiled his way through the day’s inconveniences with nary a worry.
“I was anxious to get here and play and I am having a good time,” he said of the place. “I really like the look of it and feel of it.”
Kuchar finished T9 last week at the Bridgestone Invitational and is ranked a career-best No. 24 in the world.
“I really enjoy this course,” he said. “It’s fun to play, I have a good time out there and I was having a good time playing out there today."