The Celebrity Pro-Am took place Wednesday at the Travelers Championship at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., and several celebrities – including George Lopez, Kevin Ollie, Ahmad Rashad and Chris Berman – took part in the festivities.
“It’s a fun day,” professional golfer Matt Kuchar said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “We had great weather, the course is in awesome shape – it’s a good day.”
Kuchar, the fifth-ranked player in the world, did not play with any celebrities at the Pro-Am, but that got Gittlieb thinking: Who’s the worst celebrity golfer Kuchar has ever golfed with?
It didn’t take long for Kuchar to answer.
“I played with Charles Barkley at an event, and he certainly ranks as probably the worst golfer but one of the most fun guys to be with,” Kuchar said, chuckling. “We played a two-man team event, and I remember it being best ball. So you both hit shots and then take the best one and move up. It was a scramble format. I pretty much felt like I was playing (by myself). He didn’t help at all.”
It was great to hear Kuchar laugh, which is something very few golfers did at the U.S. Open this past weekend. Only three golfers – Martin Kaymer, Erik Compton and Rickie Fowler – finished under par, and Compton and Fowler were just 1-under.
Kuchar finished tied for 12th with a plus-3 283.
Still, he enjoyed the new course design at Pinehurst No. 2.
“I loved the waste area design,” he said. “I think it’s the future of golf. I think the ability to conserve that much water is a huge positive. I love the fact that for both good golfers and bad golfers, if you hit it off line into the waste area, you can go find it, play it (and) advance it. It’s not a hazard. It’s not a lost ball. It’s not deep rough that nobody can dig out of. It’s playable stuff.”
“I think for the U.S. Open, we’re used to a deep rough where there’s such a premium on driving accuracy,” Kuchar continued. “This week at Pinehurst, (there was) not (nearly) the premium on drive accuracy. If you hit it in the waste area, then 7 out of 10 (times) you could still hit the green. At most U.S. Opens, if you hit in the rough, you’re not getting it to the green.”
Kuchar, 35, has finished in the top 10 in all four majors since 2010. He’ll go for his first major championship next month at the British Open.
Tiger Woods, who is back to taking full swings, is the favorite to win the event, which will take place at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club – the same course Woods won at in 2006.
Kuchar, however, doesn’t know that Woods will be back in time for the Open, which begins July 17.
“Right now, my guess would be no,” Kuchar said. “It’s still a ways away, (but) after what he did at Torrey Pines at the (2008) U.S. Open – winning on one leg – anything Tiger does, we kind of come to expect some amazing things from him. If he’s back, good for him. I think everybody hopes that he gives himself enough time to fully recover – that when he comes back, it’s coming back for real and not coming back too early and having a setback happen.”