February 27, 2003
Q. Talk about him kind of being a favorite. Why would you think -- he obviously has been playing well, but why would you think he'd be a favorite going in?
SCOTT HOCH: He's an excellent player, and he's ranked higher than I am in the world. Plus I really haven't played much. This isn't my time of year. European guys tend to play better in the inclement weather, but actually I've had a lot of success, I've beaten most of the European team here in match play over the years. But it seems like when I go over there, I'm always stuck against Colin, he's tough over there. He's one guy I can't seem to beat over in Europe. Maybe if I've got him here, I'd have a chance. My game is coming together a little bit. I putted so bad last week, and I saw Scotty Cameron the last two days working on my stroke. I'm getting better, but it's still not where it needs to be. I'm not comfortable. I'm hitting some pretty good putts, and not wasting many shots, keeping the ball in the fairway.
Q. Did you go to his studio?
SCOTT HOCH: Yeah, the last two days. Just yesterday to confirm what we were working on the day before, that I was still doing it. I putted very well yesterday. I hit one terrible putt, other than that I really putted well yesterday, but still didn't feel comfortable. So I called in to see if I could go back to his studio to see if I was still doing what we were working on. The naked eye can't see it. The caddy can't see it. And I've got to see it on film. A couple of different things we're working on. And it still feels awkward. That's why I have to confirm if I'm still doing what I want to do.
Q. It may feel awkward, but if they can confirm it with you and with the video and camera?
SCOTT HOCH: I wish he was on the east coast. It makes it tough coming out here.
Q. How long have you been seeing him?
SCOTT HOCH: I probably came to the studio the first time four or five years ago. And I just do it once -- whenever I'm in the area, maybe once a year. I've done it every year since, but only that one week. I was in the area. I don't come back -- I think it would be beneficial if I did, but that's a long way to go from Orlando to go to come out here. But the results of it, one putt here and there could make a big difference.
Q. Have you surprised yourself with how you played?
SCOTT HOCH: Considering the way -- no, because I can take a lot of time off, as long as I hit some balls, get used to the rhythm and my short game takes a little while to get back, and the last couple of days last week my short game was coming together. But -- I just started hitting it good. I started keeping the ball in the fairway. Because I'm not very long, but I am longer than I was last year. I've worked out for about two or three solid months, so I am stronger. And it's a matter of keeping the ball in the fairway, and keeping it on the greens, and making a few putts. If you keep playing and not making many mistakes, then you're going to do well out here, unless you get somebody that's playing hot. Like Tiger. I read he was going for pars, and made two birdies and just won his match. A lot of time that's what you have to do. Match play is a different animal than medal.
Q. Do you enjoy it?
SCOTT HOCH: I enjoy it.
Q. Do you enjoy that one-on-one and strategy and all that?
SCOTT HOCH: I do.
Q. Do you think that -- everything you sense about how you're playing, you'll continue to play well?
SCOTT HOCH: Well, I hope to. Last week I didn't play well, but I started playing better at the end. And that's continued this week. So I'm not -- I could play poorly tomorrow, but I don't see it, because the last few days I've improved and even the ones -- the shots today, my iron shots are going right at the pin, even if they're a little short. The course played long today. And I kept hitting good shots, and they kept landing short of the pin, but they were right down the pin. I hit a lot of good shots.
Q. How bad was it out here at its worst?
SCOTT HOCH: It was terrible. We've done this a number of times, but lots of times when we see this is in the summertime when they have to call it because of lightning with it. But this isn't a dangerous rain, it's just a lot of it
Q. Jim, talk about your match today.
JIM FURYK: Well, it was definitely a sloppy day, and just intermittent showers, annoying showers every other hole, probably. We got some bad rain in the middle of the round. We probably played the 10th hole in about an hour, after a couple of different waits. I think we hit other tee shot and we waited to hit our second shots. We hit our second shots and then we waited to hit our shots around the green for a while. But I played a real solid round, and I know Steve didn't play nearly as well as he would have liked to. I won a bunch of holes with pars, and got out there and birdied the last two, and kind of put the nail and the coffin. It was a good solid day.
Q. It's always good to win, but in these weather conditions where anything can?
JIM FURYK: Yeah, I was frustrated that I got 3-up at the turn, making birdie on 9, and then when we got to 10 it was a torrential downpour, things were going great and I wanted to keep the momentum going, and it took me a couple of holes to get back in the flow of things.
Q. And you play the winner of --
JIM FURYK: I think I play Clarke.
Q. Darren Clarke, he won-?
JIM FURYK: Him and Davis had a quick day.
Q. Clarke won this event in I guess it was 2000. Have you played him in match play before?
JIM FURYK: I haven't, actually -- well, yeah, actually at the Ryder Cup this year. Not one-on-one, but I played teams against him. I'd say from all of the European guys Darren is probably -- I'm probably as close or -- I consider him more of a friend maybe than anyone else. But he's a great guy. I'll have to try to find something to get angry with tomorrow. But he's a good guy, he's a friend and we'll have a good match
Q. You drove the ball pretty well most of the day, were you rattled at all at 18th tee after letting that one slip away at 17?
KEVIN SUTHERLAND: I think maybe that had a little to do with it. I was thinking I had a fairly easy birdie putt on 17 to close out the match. I'm not sure I got that out of my head. I was thinking I probably shouldn't be here right now. And I hit a horrible tee shot. I was lucky it didn't go in the water. The only other play I had was down the other fairway, and I was a good 60, 70 yards from our fairway.
Q. You're 8 and 0 in this event. They may have to start considering you as a Ryder Cup captain?
KEVIN SUTHERLAND: I don't know. I love match play. I think it's great. I just think it's a lot of fun. And I really enjoy this whole event. I'm glad they have one. I said last year, they should have more of them, but no one seemed to take me serious, so we'll see.
Q. Well played event.
KEVIN SUTHERLAND: I think we both played well. We were both fairly close to par. I don't know. We made a lot of pars. There was very few holes won with a par, someone else making a bogey. But I thought -- Justin Rose is a tremendous player. It was the first time I played with him. I was very impressed. He's got a lot of composure.
Q. Is there any thought to go back to the 18th fairway, hit it back over there, and get it in play again?
KEVIN SUTHERLAND: We would have liked to, we could have, but I wouldn't be able to get to the green from there, and I figured if I go down this fairway -- and I actually asked John. He said, yeah, I'll do my best. And he -- and I actually hit it in the left side of the fairway, so I got a little further away from our fairway. And I was just fortunate, I had a good angle. The wind was a little bit left-to-right and he said just trust the yardage.
KEVIN SUTHERLAND: That was a little strange. I don't think there's going to be many people in that fairway today, at least I hope not. It wasn't what I had planned. One thing I was concerned about was getting in a puddle, and having to drop it in the rough. So I was hoping I didn't get in anything deeper than I could hit it out of. And I was fortunate that -- I actually had a dry lie, I didn't even have casual water.
Q. What did you hit from the second shot?
KEVIN SUTHERLAND: I hit a 3-iron. I had to keep it underneath the tree, and I hit a punch cut into the fairway. I was more concerned I got it in the fairway, than how far I hit it.
Q. He didn't step that one off, did he?
KEVIN SUTHERLAND: No, he didn't step that one off.
KEVIN SUTHERLAND: He said 149 to the front, and we were guessing 65 to the pin. .
Q. Where was it at that point?
KEVIN SUTHERLAND: In left-to-right, and I said I 6-iron. It looked good. It looked like it was going about the right distance, but I didn't know. I was watching the ball in the air and saying please be the right distance.
Q. You're comfortable scrambling here?
KEVIN SUTHERLAND: I think I played pretty well all day today, but I've always been kind of a grinder, and a guy who was willing to gut it out and make it ugly, if you have to, and that hole was pretty ugly. But I was able to make a par.
Q. It sounds like it wasn't indicative of your play today, that hole?
KEVIN SUTHERLAND: No, I thought Justin Rose -- I thought we both played fairly well. It was tough to get the ball real close, no matter what you're hitting into it, you're hitting a 3-iron into the green, and the ball was spinning back.
Q. You talk about liking match play. There's got to be guys out here who like it and some guys who just come here because they're ranked. Do you think that makes a difference, to like it and want to play it and to value it?
KEVIN SUTHERLAND: I don't know. I can't speak for everybody. I just enjoy it. I just think it's different than the normal. I'm sure that if we played a whole bunch of match play tournaments, I'd say stroke-play is a whole lot of fun. It's different than what we're used to. It's like when we play in the British Open, I enjoy that, because it's different than the golf we play here. The variety is nice. And so when we get in this match play event, it's a nice change of play. When I was in amateur golf, I enjoyed match play.
Q. How is it from your perspective when the other guy is making bogeys?
STEPHEN LEANEY: Well, I was just fortunate that he wasn't driving well today, and on this golf course if you miss fairways you're going to struggle. And I just tried to keep it in play, and that's hard when it's wet. The course is playing pretty long. I knew that if I kept it in play after the start he had, I would have a good chance. I didn't play great. I think I finished 1 under for the match, which is not a great round here, but when you get the start that I had, I think I was 4-up after four, and I didn't really do a lot. That just sort of helped. But I gave one back on the 8th hole and then you're back to four down. But there is still a chance. You've still got 9 to come, but Justin had a chance on 10. And that was sort of the way that I went. He just didn't capitalize on the chance and I didn't make that many mistakes.
Q. How hard is it to keep fresh for tomorrow's matches, not having to play all 18 holes or going beyond, does that help or is that not a big deal?
STEPHEN LEANEY: Well, I think if you got to the final it would help. I've got a big match tomorrow. I've got I'm just fortunate. I think it will help my game a lot if I've got to compete with Tiger. I'm just fortunate that it's only one round, and not 36 holes. I think otherwise people have a chance.
Q. How well do you know Justin's game? Have you played with him much before?
STEPHEN LEANEY: I played with him once in '92, so it's been a while. I played behind him yesterday, and I watched him play. I was fortunate to get him on a day he wasn't playing his best.
Q. Have you have you played with Tiger before?
STEPHEN LEANEY: I haven't played with Tiger before. He's the best player in the world. I know I've got a hard day tomorrow. A lot can happen. I hope the course dries out a little bit, because the length factor is a fairly big advantage on this golf course. I've got to make putts and hang in there.
Q. How tough was it when the rain was coming down, and it seemed like you were out in the middle of a lake for a while?
STEPHEN LEANEY: That's as heavy as I've played in for a long time. And I've played in Europe for four years, so I know what rain is like. But it really came down. You just kept trying to hang in there and kept trying to hit solid shots
DAVID TOMS: The greens are so soft that you don't know what it's going to do on the first bounce, even hitting a club like that it tends to check. And I wanted to putt it, but the grass was too long there, so I figured 3-wood was a perfect club. It rolls like a putt, once it hits the ground. When I hit it that hard it carries about a foot or so and that's what I had to do.
Q. You had it all the way?
DAVID TOMS: I was just trying to make him make that putt. I gave him one over there on 15, and I didn't want to do that again. I wanted to at least make him make that, and get a tap in or at least a putt that I knew I could make.
Q. How many of those have you holed in your career?
DAVID TOMS: I've made a handful from off the green with woods. I made one, a real tough shot last year at the Buick Open in Detroit, 5-wood from a similar situation, but the pin was real close. I'm not afraid to use it, if I'm coming down the last hole on a shot where I have to get a good shot, it never crossed my mind not to try it. Because I'm confident with it.
DAVID TOMS: It's a longer shot. I've got a longer shaft and I don't have to hit it as hard as a 5-wood.
Q. How many feet do you think you were?
DAVID TOMS: 85 feet.
Q. Looks like this match was nip and tuck pretty much all the way, can you take us through the flow of it?
DAVID TOMS: He gave me one early with a bogey. So I got up. Then he made birdies at 2 and 3 to get back up on me. And it just went back and forth all day. We went for three or four holes there in the middle struggling a little bit. He had his driver kind of going all over the place, but he was making long putts for par. He made half a dozen lengthy putts for par to keep him in there. Then I turned around and gave him one on 15. Had 8-iron to the green. It was back and forth. Neither one of us played our best golf, but we hung in and battled.
Q. How did you stay in it both mentally considering the weather?
DAVID TOMS: We sat out on the 9th fairway for seemed like 45 minutes. He went from having a clean lie, both of us in the fairway, they had to squeegee his lie before he could hit. He was in a pond all of a sudden. And I told the guy, I said, you know, you need to go move the tees up after we play the hole, so other guys can hit it over that stuff. It was a nasty day. But I'm proud I hung in there. Wet poa annua conditions are not my strong suit. And I'm just hanging and hopefully I can continue to win matches.
Q. Looking at the board it seems there are a lot of lopsided results, a lot of 7s and 6s, 6s and 5s, do you think the weather plays into that?
DAVID TOMS: Absolutely. You get a guy that can hit it two or three under, you have another guy missing 3, 4, 5 over, that can happen real quick.
Q. Do you think you're a better match play player now than you were even a year ago, because of your experience in the last year with it?
DAVID TOMS: I don't know. I've gotten better over the last couple of years of just focusing on what's going on right here, not thinking win this hole or win that hole. I've come to believe that you always have to think your guy is going to make a putt, especially when you're playing a guy that's a good putter. Some guys you can tell there's no chance he's going to make it. Most of the guys playing at this level, you expect the guy to make the putt. So you've always got to be thinking -- to me, I used to come to this tournament thinking you can protect, and let the other guy make a mistake. And you can't do that anymore, you have to continue to be aggressive and try to make birdies.
Q. Boy, he putts so well. When you see him on the draw sheet, you think that's a guy that's going to make a lot of putts?
DAVID TOMS: He had the crowd behind him. He's a local guy. They're pretty vocal about out there. And that's fine. I knew that going in. I saw on the TV last night Randy North had picked him to upset me. And that gave me some extra motivation. It was a tough match. I hung in there and prevailed.
Q. Did the Ryder Cup success you had make you even more excited to play match play?
DAVID TOMS: I think so I think so, although the last couple of weeks I haven't played well. I'm still trying to find it. I've hit a lot of great shots. But I've hit some bad shots, too, and I'm just grinding along, and hopefully I can continue to maybe get a little better each round and get there in the end.
Q. You're officially a match play killer now, you have a reputation?
DAVID TOMS: Whatever.
Q. Thoughts on how it went out there today?
ROBERT ALLENBY: We both played really well, we really did. We kept on each other right down to the last hole. He made plenty of birdies. I mean pretty much that was the only way you were going to win a hole was with a birdie. We both played very, very steady and very solid.
Q. Looked like you had a rough stretch around the turn on the first couple of holes on the back, I think you made a couple of bogeys in a row.
ROBERT ALLENBY: Yeah, everything is so soft. Everything is spinning a lot, it makes it hard to get it close sometimes. And I especially on the par-5 on the 11th I hit it to about 15 feet. I sort of had that hole covered. But it's neck and neck all the way. We halved with birdies on 14, I think. And it was a good match all the way.
Q. The conditions early, with the weather?
ROBERT ALLENBY: It's always tough when you've got to wait 45 minutes. Or even an hour, I think it was.
Q. Where did you have to wait?
ROBERT ALLENBY: We were on the third green, half hour.
Q. The third green?
ROBERT ALLENBY: We were standing there for whatever it took. But you've got to deal with it. And the only good thing about it is he's in the same boat as you, whereas in stroke-play event, there might be half the field in the clubhouse. So it's a difference scenario. But I holed a 35-footer for birdie there afterwards.
Q. How about your match tomorrow with Peter?
ROBERT ALLENBY: It will be good. He's been playing well for -- playing awesome for the last six or seven months, maybe even longer. It's going to be -- obviously it's going to be a tough match, because he's playing very well. He's obviously putting very well. Every match is a tough match, otherwise we wouldn't be here.
Q. Have you gone head-to-head with him in a stroke-play event?
ROBERT ALLENBY: No. I think at the Australian Masters last year he came from behind a long way, and I came from behind as well, you wouldn't call that head-to-head.
JERRY KELLY: I was just consistent. I wasn't making any mistakes. He made a few mistakes back there and let me back in the match. Actually I made birdie to get back in the match. As it went on he started to make some mistakes, and I took advantage of them.
Q. You're playing Mickelson tomorrow?
JERRY KELLY: Yes, I am.
Q. What are your thoughts on that?
JERRY KELLY: I'm going to play the same way I play. I don't have to play anymore aggressive, just play steady. I'm playing decent golf. I started striking it poor, but came out strong. So I want to take that mentality tomorrow.
Q. You guys played in pretty awful weather today. It's always fun to win, but in that situation it's a little more a bonus?
JERRY KELLY: Yeah, and maybe I can blame my early swing problems on going through the mud, but I really just hung in there, trusted what I've been taught and started executing, that was the key.
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