MATT Kuchar says he is a funny guy.

This has escaped most of the Western world for he has the demeanour of the professional mourner, the sort of guy who puts the fun into funeral.

Kuchar has won seven USPGA tournaments, trousered millions, stretched to 6ft 4in and lived 36 years without feeling the need to say anything of interest. Professionally and publicly, he is a straight down the middle sort of guy.

So when he addressed the matter of Ian Poulter yesterday, one was expecting an answer so dull it could have come with a thud.

Yet Kuchar revealed just how much Poulter, the miracle maker of Medinah, has affected Team USA. Is losing a match to the Englishman different to losing a match against anyone else on Team Europe, he was asked with the sort of relish that should be dolloped out with a spoon.

"I might say yes there is," said Kuchar, causing the press room to stir. "I mean, losing stinks. I think Poulter is the guy everybody wants to draw, everybody wants to get the best of. And the flipside is, you hate to get beaten by Poulter. If you get beat by anyone it stings. Poulter, I don't know if it stings worse, but he's kind of the marked man that everyone wants a piece of."

This was said in the Kuchar drawl that suggests he is offering one the chance to apply for life insurance, thus gaining a free pen. It sounded uninteresting but, of course, it was sporting dynamite.

Kuchar could not have illustrated the fear and loathing that Poulter induces in Team USA if he opened a room decorated in photographs of the 38-year-old from Hitchin. He moved on quickly to eulogise Rory McIlroy, describing him as 'the "No.1 player in the world, that's kind of their top guy."

Stifling the riposte that No.1 in the world makes him kind of everybody's top guy, one was left to reflect on a press conference where Kuchar avoided revelation with the same ease as a lottery win eludes your correspondent. He would not be drawn into the reasons why USA seemed to underperform in Ryder Cups, he would not divulge the thinking of Tom Watson and he would not reveal the jolly japes he carried out with Tiger Woods.

Yet he painted a target on Poulter, one that had already been traced by Watson. It seems that Poulter discomfits Team USA for two reasons: one they cannot fathom how a player with a relatively mediocre record, certainly of late, can whup the good ole boys and, secondly, where does that passion that stirs momentum come from and how can it be replicated, but with a garnish of Stars and Stripes?

This is bugging the Americans, though Jim Furyk gently danced around any intimations of European ascendancy. Asked which Europeans brought the biggest intimidation factor on the first tee, the 44-year-old showed his experience by responding: "You do not expect me to answer that question, do you?"

He then burbled out more than 200 words not answering it. He was expansive on the difficulty of the rough, sentiments that can be edited to give the entirely fair impression that it is long and will make second shots to the green a forlorn hope. But he was offering no comfort to the enemy in terms of painting targets or flinching from danger. Instead, he stated simply he would love to play the Ryder Cup every year. "An away game once in awhile never hurt," he said. "It definitely tests your moxie a little bit."

The communal moxie will be tested by Poulter and 11 others over three days of competition.

But at least one puzzle was solved yesterday. Asked why the Europeans keep on winning, Zach Johnson replied: "Because they score more points."

If they are paired together Johnson and Kuchar may be 2014's answer to Morecambe and Wise.