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Harris English & Matt Kuchar - December 9, 2015


DAVE SENKO: We would like to welcome Matt Kuchar and Harris English, the 2013 winners and second runners-up last year. Maybe just get us started. You guys, it's been a phenomenal two-year run, 65-under par score-wise. Maybe, Matt, if you want to get us started, just talk about that run the last couple years.

MATT KUCHAR: I love this event, love teaming up with Harris. We've had a great run. I remember two years ago I was without a partner. I think I was supposed to play with Sneds and Sneds had an injury. So they said Matt, you're without a parter. I said, I've got the perfect guy, Harris English. Sure enough, we made a great team and then nearly defended the title last year.

It's been fun. This event, every year I look forward to it. Every year I bring the family down and just it's such a great setup. Fun for us to play a different format other than four rounds of stroke play. To get to play a team event that you mix it up, you play best ball, scramble, alternate shot, it's fun to do. I've enjoyed getting a chance to hang out with Harris more, hang out with Smitty, his caddie. It's just a fun week.

HARRIS ENGLISH: Yeah, like Matt said, this is a great way to end the year, just more of a relaxed golf tournament, to have some fun with guys and to play with a guy like Kooch and learn some stuff from him and learn some stuff from other guys where you can talk about stuff on the course. It's just more of a relaxed atmosphere out there and that's what makes it fun. And kind of one last shot to play tournament golf before we all put the clubs away maybe for a couple weeks before we hit the west coast. It's a good last tournament of the year.

DAVE SENKO: What will your schedules be like at the start of the year after this?

MATT KUCHAR: A couple-week break over the Christmas holiday and then I'll head out probably just after New Years to Palm Springs, do a final tuneup there. Then off to Hawaii for Sony Open and then back to Palm Springs for the new Career Builder Challenge.

HARRIS ENGLISH: I'll probably do the same thing, head out to Palm Springs for four, five days to practice in some good weather and head out to Sony as well. I don't think I'm playing the Career Builder but I'll play Torrey, Phoenix and L.A. out there.

Q. What kind of non-golf things have you talked about over the years while you're playing this tournament?

HARRIS ENGLISH: Well, I've tried over the years beat Kooch in ping pong and I haven't been able to do so. I mean, we have similar interests. We get along really well and talk about football, basketball, ping pong, just kind of whatever.

Q. Georgia, Georgia Tech?

HARRIS ENGLISH: Georgia, Georgia Tech. It's just so much fun out there just hanging out, hanging out with the guys. It's not the grind of a normal tournament that we're under out there. We'll talk about anything and everything.

MATT KUCHAR: Yeah, it is fun that the conversation, you never know where it's going to go. I certainly think I've been around kind of long enough to impart some advice, whether it's scheduling, whether it's financial, whether it's from an agency standpoint, sponsor standpoint. Try to offer any bit of advice I can. And then some unique golf stuff as well, whether it's strategy, whether it's some of the chip shots around here are really tricky, some technical advice with how to hit some different shots. So the conversation can be very appropriate and off the wall at the same time. It can go kind of a number of different directions.

Q. So there's a little mentoring, there's a little joking, there's a little whatever happens happens type?

MATT KUCHAR: Yeah, absolutely.

Q. Why do you think that you guys have shot so well together the last couple years?

MATT KUCHAR: Harris can get it going. When it's on, it's really on and fun to be part of. I knew in this format having a guy that has some extra power, extra horsepower is a helpful thing. When we play, whether it's the modified alternate shot or the scramble, I get to select his drive on a lot of occasions and it's a lot of fun for me to select his drive, to play from an area where I can be a lot more aggressive. And then we've just made a bunch of birdies. I think we have fun out there, and when you're having fun you seem to play pretty good golf and we've done a good bit of that.

HARRIS ENGLISH: Yeah, it's nice having Matt as a partner knowing that he's going to hit it in the fairway a lot of times and I can go ahead and try to wail on one, try to hit it down there on a par 5 or something. It also comes down to putting. I feel like we putted well the last few years making those 15 to 20-footers when we needed them. That's kind of what it's all about in this tournament. I feel like there's a lot of good players here and that's where you can really separate yourself is making putts.

Q. You're sort of defending in a way since Jason's not here. What other teams do you look at and see as ones that are going to be up there on Saturday?

MATT KUCHAR: The combinations that have a guy with some power I think Zach Johnson teaming up with Patrick Rodgers would be a really good team. I think Graeme McDowell is in great form, and having Gary Woodland hit tee shots for him will be a big bonus. Those two come to mind straightaway. I'm sure there's several I leave out. Seems like this field is pretty strong this year, like there's a lot of good names in the field. I don't know that there's necessarily a weak team, but I think it's advantageous to have a guy like Patrick Rodgers team up with Zach Johnson. That just straightaway seems like it would be a really good team.

Q. Thoughts on having the scramble first? Last year was the first time that happened. Do you think it accomplished what they were looking for to not have that final round where somebody was too far ahead to catch up because everybody shoots pretty low?

HARRIS ENGLISH: I guess we made them change the format from our performance two years ago. Yeah, I mean scramble, it's a lot harder to pull out in front. Every team's going to probably shoot from 10 or 11 under to 16 under. I like that. You want to have more play coming down to the last round and I think best ball does that where if you get hot, you can shoot 13, 14, 15 under, and if you don't play good you can also shoot 6 or 7 under.

MATT KUCHAR: Might even be cool, and I don't know if the players would like it, just to have a pure alternate shot Sunday just to see. Talk about separation, if that's what you're looking for, you can have a team shoot low and you can have a team shoot 75 pretty easily. I think that would be kind of an interesting, for pure separation if that's what you're looking for. But I think the players that are here love the modified alternate shot and around here you can get in some trouble off the tee and it's nice to have that second tee shot in the modified alternate shot format.

Q. You guys talked about how it's a lot of fun to play a team format and Zach Johnson was saying that the other day, that they really enjoy that format and it's a lot of fun. Golf seems to be such a mental sport. Do you think it's important to have fun and take a break and have tournaments like these?

MATT KUCHAR: We play four-round 72-hole stroke play events every week. Just to mix it up, to do something different is great. You play an individual sport. Anytime you get to play a team sport, it doesn't happen often, but here it becomes a team sport and here it gives you somebody else to talk to, to discuss things with and just to enjoy the three days of competition. I think it's a great week of golf down here.

HARRIS ENGLISH: Yeah, I mean pretty much everybody in the field grew up playing other sports and other team sports, so it's a chance for us to kind of have that a little bit in our sport where, as Matt said, we don't get to do that a whole lot and it's fun to have the team camaraderie.

Q. This has an interesting blend of football personalities in it this year. You've got Tim Tebow, Chris Berman always comes, Joe Buck does football. What's that dynamic like? Zach Johnson was saying he's never met a football player that has the finesse to play golf. Does that bring a different element because their personalities are a little different?

HARRIS ENGLISH: I think it's cool having FOX Sports cover this tournament and a guy like Joe Buck who's been such a great commentator throughout baseball and football, I think it's really cool having him be able to call golf right now. I think it brings a different crowd to watch golf and kind of a different set of eyes to call a sport. It's huge for us.

Q. If you have a response as well?

MATT KUCHAR: I'm going to concur.


About Franklin Templeton Investments
Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN] is a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management to retail, institutional and sovereign wealth clients in over 150 countries. Through specialized teams, the Company has expertise across all asset classes — including equity, fixed income, alternative and custom solutions. The Company’s more than 600 investment professionals are supported by its integrated, worldwide team of risk management professionals and global trading desk network. With offices in 35 countries, the California-based company has more than 65 years of investment experience and over $770 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2015. For more information, please visit franklintempleton.com.
About The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples
The AAA Five Diamond, Forbes Four Star Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples is renowned for its exceptional personalized service, inventive cuisine and luxurious accommodations, with panoramic views of the adjacent Greg Norman-designed Tiburón Golf Club. The 295-room Mediterranean-style resort, ranked as one of the top hotels in the U.S. by U.S. New & World Report is home to a pair of 18-hole signature Greg Norman golf courses at Tiburón. The course is the host location for both the annual PGA TOUR Franklin Templeton Shootout, held in December and the LPGA’s CME Group Tour Championship Event, held in November.
About Tiburόn Golf Club
Tiburón Golf Club, offering two Greg Norman-designed golf courses, was carved from 800 acres of prime Southwest Florida real estate. The courses reflect Norman’s appreciation for pristine natural settings and his passion for great golf. The Black and The Gold courses contain a combination of stacked sod-wall bunkers and tricky coquina waste bunkers. Tiburón features a 27,000-square-foot Mediterranean-style clubhouse with fine dining, private member locker rooms and lounge areas, and a fully-equipped golf shop. The member-only Fitness and Health Club offers state-of-the-art cardiovascular and strength training equipment, a spacious aerobics room, massage treatment rooms, men’s and women’s locker rooms, steam rooms and a club room for private functions. Certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary by Audubon International, Tiburón reflects a strong commitment to enhancing and protecting the natural resources. Tiburón Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, annually hosts the Franklin Templeton Shootout, the LPGA CME TOUR Championship and is home to the Tiburón Golf Academy and Tiburón Golf Performance Group, featuring top industry professionals in golf instruction, custom club fitting and building, sports psychology and fitness.


Lee Patterson
Franklin Templeton Shootout
[email protected]

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