There are a couple of things Kuchar still has to check off his ‘to do’ list. Claiming a major is one. Being part of a winning Ryder Cup team is another. He has played in the last three matches - at Celtic Manor in 2010, at Medinah in 2012 and, last year, at Gleneagles - but, despite his decent record, winning five points from 11 matches, he has yet to get his hands on the famous gold trophy. He admits that rankles him somewhat.
“How much of a priority is it to me to win the Ryder Cup? It’s certainly something that’s high on my list, put it that way,” he says. “Everybody who plays wants to win and it’s frustrating when you don’t, Medinah particularly so.
“The thing about me is I tend to take every tournament a week at a time. I’m very much a guy that’s in the present. For example, if I’m playing the week before a major, I’m not thinking about that major; I’m thinking about playing well in whatever event it may be and trying to win that.
So, I don’t spend a huge amount of time thinking about the Ryder Cup. It’s a once-every-two-years event. That said, I would love to be a part of a winning team and I’m really excited that Davis Love has been appointed captain of the US side again.”
Love, of course, steered the US to the brink of victory at Medinah in 2012, only for Jose Maria Olazabal’s side to stage an unlikely final day fightback. That was the USA’s seventh defeat in nine matches, an inglorious record that was extended to eight in ten at Gleneagles last year. In the wake of that most recent defeat, a ‘Task Force’ was hastily commissioned to stop America’s Ryder Cup rot. That panel unanimously endorsed Love’s return as captain ahead of next year’s match at Hazeltine, where he will go toe-to-toe with former Open champion Darren Clarke.
Phil Mickelson described Love as “a perfect fit for what we wanted”, whilst fellow ‘Task Force’ member Tiger Woods added: “I have great respect for him as a person, player and captain.”