Matt Kuchar has an interesting way to transport his Olympic bronze medal

January 9, 2020

Olympic medals need little introduction. They’re earned by the greatest athletes on the planet and carry weight (literally and figuratively) in every country of the world. Few have actually seen an Olympic medal in person, and for those who have it’s a memorable experience.

Matt Kuchar won his Olympic medal in 2016 when golf finally returned to the Games. Justin Rose took the gold, Henrik Stenson the silver and Kuchar won the bronze. And Kuchar, a nine-time PGA Tour winner, doesn’t leave his medal behind often. In fact, he always carries it in his backpack. As for how he keeps it safe in his backpack, well, he’s got a unique method.

“Wherever my backpack goes, it goes,” Kuchar told the media on Wednesday, a day before he begins his defense of the Sony Open in Hawaii. “It’s just been fun to show off. Hadn’t found a home anywhere other than my backpack. You know, it’s easy to travel with. Fun to show off. I probably haven’t brought it out other than in airport screenings I always take it out. They see this big medal blob and always take it out. I always bring it out and it’s in a sock, and the screener always — you know, even though I’ve put the sock out open in a bin, the screener always grabs a hold of it, pulls it out, and eyes kind of bug out.”

But Kuchar wasn’t sneaking one important detail by the media.

“In a sock? Is the sock made for it?”
“No, a typical sock.”
“A regular sock?”
“A regular sock, yeah.”
“Do you wash the sock? Good Lord.”
“It was washed before — it was a clean sock before.” (Laugher)

It’s safe to say it’s a memorable experience for some lucky TSA officers.

“It’s a similar reaction over and over again,” Kuchar said. “Just (eyes) kind of bug out. ‘Is this real? What’s it for?’ They start showing it off to their friends. Hey, I got to catch a flight now. (Laughter)

If Kuchar really wanted to get into it, he could remind the security guards that he closed with an eight-under 63 in the final round of the 2016 Games in Brazil, which vaulted him up the leaderboard and into the top three.

“To be able to go ahead and know exactly the situation and come through and have a great round was amazing,” Kuchar said. “… It’s either you medal or you don’t. Medalling is winning in essence, and that was certainly one of my great final rounds.”

Kuchar’s first round of the Sony Open begins at 5:40 p.m. ET on Thursday. He’s grouped with Justin Thomas and Brendon Todd. Complete tee times are here.