The Loop

Kuchar takes in spectacle, and thrives

April 08, 2010

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Matt Kuchar never saw the airplanes flying overhead his group on Thursday, perhaps because he was too engrossed in the scene on the ground.

"I wonder if Tiger saw it," Kuchar said of the planes that carried mocking messages for the world No. 1. "He was probably so focused on golf."

That Woods' highly-anticipated return to golf morphed into another impressive display of ball-striking was just one reason the 31-year-old Kuchar said he relished being part of the marquee group. The other is after a two-under 70, he didn't fare so badly himself.

"It was fun to be part of," Kuchar said. "I didn't know what to expect from a golf experience. You weren't sure if it was going to be one of those days where you had so much going on that nobody could do anything."

Instead, along with K.J. Choi's five-under 67, the trio was a combined 11-under par.

"It helps a thousand times over there that it's here at Augusta National and the Masters," Kuchar said. "Fans were respectful, they were great. It was controlled. There just weren't distractions like I thought there would be."

-- Sam Weinman*