Walker Cup Memories: Matt Kuchar February 15, 2015 | Far Hills, N.J. By Dave Shedloski

Matt Kuchar competed in the 1999 Walker Cup Match, two years after winning the U.S. Amateur. (USGA/Russell Kirk)

Matt Kuchar, the 1997 U.S. Amateur champion, played on the 1999 USA Walker Cup Team, which lost at Nairn Golf Club in Scotland. Kuchar went winless in the Match (0-3-0), but has since gone on to enjoy a highly successful PGA Tour career. The former Georgia Tech All-American owns six PGA Tour wins, including the 2012 Players Championship and the 2013 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

This is a Walker Cup year. Do you still follow it?

I know, and it's always cool to follow it. I keep track of it every two years to see what’s happening. I think it’s a fantastic event, and I get the invite every year, and I would love to go because it’s a good reunion of guys that always make the trip. But it’s hard for us [PGA] Tour players to get that in our schedule.

What did it mean to play in the Walker Cup?

Well, it’s such an honor to be selected. Going up through amateur golf you know about it as the ultimate in amateur golf, and to qualify, you know that you’ve been picked from among the best of the best, so it’s neat to be among a lot of the greats of the game who through the years have played in it.

What did you take away from the experience? What did you learn?

It’s a great competition, and to have the chance to play as a part of a team in front of a real big gallery is a pretty valuable learning experience. We played over at Nairn, in Scotland, and another Georgia guy as a captain, Danny Yates, and that was fun. I think just the overall experience really meant a lot to me in my career.

Was it the most nervous you had ever been on a golf course up to that point?

I think because you start out with a teammate and you play a team format first it helps the nerves. I was paired with Bryce Molder, another [Georgia] Tech guy, and we felt pretty comfortable as a team. I think the most nervous I’ve ever been was that first tee shot at Augusta in ’98 [as the U.S. Amateur champion] playing with Tiger [Woods]. That was unbelievable. Now, I was pretty nervous at the Walker Cup, but it was nothing like that.