Kuchar dreams of Claret Jug

Hoylake - World number five Matt Kuchar has said on Wednesday it would be a childhood dream come true if he can go on to win the Open Championship for the first time this week at Hoylake.

The popular American 36-year-old is gunning for his first major and one of the in-form players amongst the field after winning his seventh PGA title in April at the Heritage, just one week after finishing fifth at the Masters.

Now he wants to master the treacherous links course at Hoylake and get his hands on the Claret Jug, the most coveted trophy in the game.

"To win the British Open would just be a dream coming true. I think all of us as kids that played the game envision holding the Claret Jug and envision winning British Opens, and certainly that would be the childhood dream coming true for me," said the Florida native with a huge grin.

"I love coming here. This is a special place and so heaped with tradition. I loved going through and checking out the history, knowing that Bobby Jones won the second leg of his Grand Slam in '30. Or figuring out the different past champions and getting to know some history.

"So anytime coming here it's extra special because of the amount of history that is here."

Kuchar, who won his first PGA title in 2002 as a 23-year-old but then had to wait seven years for his next title, enjoyed the company of some of the great past champions, including Tiger Woods, during his four practice rounds in the buildup.

"I've had four practice rounds, had four great Open champions to play with. I played with Tiger (Woods) on Sunday, played with Nick Faldo Monday, Tom Watson Tuesday and David Duval today. So I hope I get some unique perspective and some of that mystical Open Championship rubs off a little on me.

"It was great to play with all of them. I enjoyed my practice rounds. I feel like after four rounds, I'm quite comfortable here.

He also said like many of the top players this week that it's great to have Woods back on Tour after his fellow American and 14-time major winner only recently came back from back surgery.

"When Tiger is in the field, certainly there's a lot of attention from fans, from media, from players, to see just how he's doing," continued Kuchar.

"The majors are exciting. We had the US Open this year without Tiger. It may not have been a great spectator week with the way Martin Kaymer played (won by 8 shots) but it still had a major championship feel when we teed off on Thursday.

"He's (Woods) fantastic for the game and I think this year, again, everybody is going to be very excited to see how he does.

gnf/ak

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