The Matt Kuchar you know and the Matt Kuchar Bryce Molder knows are two very different people. You know Kuchar as the perennial PGA Tour winner and the beloved owner of golf’s finest Dad energy. Molder knows him as the goofy college student at Georgia Tech, where Kuchar’s original star was born as one of the country’s finest young … pranksters.
On this week’s episode of GOLF’s Subpar podcast, Molder told some of his favorite stories involving Kuchar — his old college teammate. But for all of Kuchar’s joking prowess, no story could top the time that Molder and his teammates conspired to prank the prankster at a gala in front of the entire school.
“So Matt actually had a whole article like a six-page spread in Sports Illustrated about him being this fun-loving prankster, and at the time like Sports Illustrated magazine was massive, right?” Molder remembered. “Everybody in the athletic association had read it and Matt’s just a superstar. Didn’t matter who was in the lunchroom, that was the superstar, and he was the prankster.”
In Molder’s memory, the story begins when Georgia Tech officials handed out name tags at the beginning of the gala.
“Everybody’s wearing a coat and tie no one looks like it’s right. None of us look good because we got a name tag,” he said. “Matt’s idea was to start putting name tags on some of the baseball players’ back. So we started doing it to Matt too, because he’s the closest one to the speaker so he’s kind of turned around, we all start kind of doing it to him.”
As the back of Kuchar’s jacket began to collect name tags, the light bulb went off in Molder’s head.
“I’m like nudging my buddy, sitting next to me, I’m like ‘hey, I’m getting an award, and they told me I was gonna speak. What are the chances I can get Matt to stand up?'” Molder said. “I thought it was gonna be difficult, it was really easy.”
Moments later, Molder walked up to accept his award, and his moment of genius struck.
“I started to a story, and literally mentioned his name for a quarter of a second,” he said. “I was like, ‘you know, we went to a baseball game at Fenway and Matt Kuchar gets us our tickets, and you all know Matt.’ Before I could say stand up, he shoots out of the chair. Hand couldn’t be higher, big smile, he’s going around in every direction, name tags all over him.”
After a few minutes of laughter, Kuchar began to realize something was amiss.
“It’s one of those moments where you’re like, ‘I kind of feel like I’m the butt of the joke,'” Molder said. “Matt kind of starts reaching behind his back. He starts picking them off one by one.”
A lifelong prankster like Kuchar couldn’t help but to tip his cap toward his college buddy. Molder had gotten him good.
“He never said a word, but it was like, I don’t think he’s ever respected me that much,” Molder said. “At that moment, it didn’t matter. All the golf stuff like whatever, but that he’s like, you kind of got me. I was scared.”
To hear the rest of Molder’s interview, including how Tiger Woods and a hot dog overshadowed his first win, check out the video below.