No harm meant by Kuchar's post-round Faldo remark
MARANA, Ariz. – Right after the affable Matt Kuchar played poorly in losing 6 and 5 to Hunter Mahan in the WGC-Accenture Match Play quarterfinals Saturday, he playfully said this to a television interviewer: “The only thing that will make me feel better is if I punch Nick Faldo square in the back of the neck.”
Kuchar said he wasn’t singling out golf television analyst Faldo. Kuchar said he doesn’t have a problem with him, even though he was aware Faldo the night before said on air he was opposed to the belly putter, which Kuchar uses.
“It could’ve been anyone,” he said, smiling. “It was meant to be funny. It was funny in my mind.”
As Kuchar was explaining himself by the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club clubhouse, Faldo walked by. Kuchar excused himself from a few reporters and chased Faldo down in the parking lot.
“Nick, Nick!” he called out as he approached the man who won six major championships.
Kuchar wanted Faldo to hear about the quote from him first. He explained himself, they talked for a couple of minutes and Faldo patted him on the back.
“Nick’s a big boy,” Kuchar said. “I don’t want a piece of him. He has a big neck. He wouldn’t have been hurt.”
The only thing ailing was Kuchar’s game, particularly his putting. Kuchar bogeyed half of the first 10 holes and lost all five in falling 5-down. Mahan was 4 up through seven holes and hadn’t even made a birdie.
“It really came down to putting,” said Kuchar, who missed four putts from 6-7 feet on those first 10, plus a 12-footer for birdie at the fourth. On top of that, he butchered the front-nine par 3s, hitting a bad shot into water right at the third and hitting a poor chip 41 feet past the hole at the sixth.