Kuchar catches Monty's eye

2010-08-13 22:15

Whistling Straits - Matt Kuchar is poised to seal a debut spot on the US Ryder Cup team and he has already captured the attention of European captain Colin Montgomerie at this week's US PGA Championship.


The 32-year-old American played with Montgomerie in the fog-delayed opening round at Whistling Straits, and made a significant impact on the Briton as he fired a five-under-par 67 to move one shot clear of the field.

"He handled himself very well leading the tournament," Montgomerie told reporters on Friday after Kuchar had birdied his first hole of the day, his 15th overall, to take charge in the year's final major.

"I was very impressed. He's very, very solid a player, as solid a player as I have played with on the US Tour for a long time. He's someone who will be a great asset to their Ryder Cup team I am sure."

Kuchar, who was tied for the PGA Championship lead at four under overnight with four holes to play in the weather-delayed opening round, lies seventh in the US Cup standings.

With the top eight automatically qualifying for the biennial team competition at the end of this week, his Cup debut would appear to be assured but he prefers not to talk about it.

"I've always been of the thought process that talking about it can't really help me," Kuchar said. "You take care of the details and let the big things take care of themselves.

"I've never been a guy who says: 'This is my goal -- to make the Ryder Cup team'. I never felt like that was going to help me make the Ryder Cup team."

While letting his clubs do the talking, Kuchar has thrust himself into Ryder Cup contention with a remarkably consistent season featuring eight top-10s on the PGA Tour.

A double winner on the US circuit who lost form for much of the last decade, he reignited his career after employing swing coach Chris O'Connell in 2006.

"Every year (since) has gotten better," Kuchar said. "I think in all categories I probably improved. I'm starting to hit it further, I'm hitting it closer to the hole and I'm putting better. My short game is good.

"Chris has made me a much more consistent golfer and a much better golfer. You look at guys like Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker... and you kind of want to be those guys, guys you see up on the leaderboard every week."

The Ryder Cup takes place at the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales from Oct 1-3.