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October 5, 2002

Scott Hoch


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Scott, for spending a few minutes with us. Good front nine there, and you still battled on the back nine and great position for going into the last day.

SCOTT HOCH: Yeah, I really was playing well. I could have shot very low on the front. That's kind of the way it is.

The greens are getting a little scary out there. With less people on them, I think they cut them down and put a little less water on them. Some of those greens don't have a whole lot of grass on them. I hope there's something left tomorrow because they were getting a little wicked out there.

I'm hitting a lot of quality shots, a lot of good shots, and 10 I pulled it, hit it short of the bunker, I think, and bounced and hit the lip of the bunker, bounced up in the air and buried under the lip with my drive, but I was able to hit it out and try to force something in there on the third shot because I was playing so well, I didn't want to make bogey, and I swung too hard and hit a poor shot and made double. It's one of those things you try to make up for a poor and unlucky shot and it cost me, so I ended up taking my medicine.

A couple other opportunities, I had some real good shots and putts on the back nine and didn't get them, then again, I hit a few good ones that did. I'm in position. That's all you can ask, especially after double bogey. I had a string yesterday where 7, 8, 9, 10 got me yesterday.

Q. How big was the 11th after the double bogey?

SCOTT HOCH: I mean, it's nice to do it, but we've been out here long enough to know that you just want to come back with a birdie, whether it's the next hole or not, but I hit some good -- a good drive there, a good second shot and a good putt, so it's important. Even if you don't birdie, it's all right as long as you keep hitting good shots and make a couple birdies later.

Q. As often happens here it seems like the first day somebody is kind of the rabbit but then the rabbit dies and everybody kind of bunches together. You're probably maybe the last one that really ran away?

SCOTT HOCH: I'm not sure if I ran away. How much did I win by?

Q. Well, you led the whole time.

SCOTT HOCH: I think I led by two. In fact, the lady that kept score for me, she kept score for me the year I won, kept score for me today, and she said I think you were scrambling a good bit that day. I asked her if it was the same one, if she was accurate being my score keeper. I asked her how I started out, and she said I think you scrambled a lot in the beginning, and I said I don't know if you were with me or not because I birdied the first three holes.

That's the kind of start you need tomorrow. There are so many people bunched up. Chances are somebody is going to have a real good round. I thought Billy was having one of those rounds today. He double bogied 9?

Q. He was perfect for eight holes.

SCOTT HOCH: The other bogey I made on the fourth hole, I could have birdied -- coulda, shoulda, woulda, I could have birdied the first there and the 4th hole I hit a 7-iron right of the pin and got in the thick stuff, chipped it out three feet and I had a spike mark right on my line to the hole, so I decided to take the break out of it and jam it and still caught the spike mark and went left and went about five feet by, so luckily I made the next one. That's kind of the way -- when you have soft greens like this it would have nice not to have any spikes out there.

We used to play this in the summertime and they'd spike up a little bit because they'd be stressed. That's the only thing wrong out there. The greens are a bit stressed with no rain, and all of a sudden they had a lot of rain in a short amount of time, and then they have this hot weather. It's not conducive to having good greens.

Q. You seem like you might be somebody who leading after Saturday it's just kind of business. You don't get too high, you don't get too low about it, you just have to come out and play tomorrow and whatever happens happens.

SCOTT HOCH: After 23 years you don't get too excited one way or another. If you play poorly you should get pissed this late in the year, but I was upset, not so much that I finally mishit a shot. I mean, I hit my drive left. I was more upset at the break I got. Here I'm playing good, I should be better under than I am and I'm not, and I finally missed one shot and I made double bogey. That's what I was perturbed about. I just said, well, just keep hitting good shots and make some putts and we'll get it back.

Q. There seem to be a lot of guys that come in here, though, who if they had gotten that bad break, that could have thrown them totally off. You just kind of maybe -- 23 years you accept what happens?

SCOTT HOCH: Well, sometimes it will throw me off. It's just how you catch somebody. I mean, we have -- through the year we have different, I guess -- I play under different moods or swings or whatever. Sometimes that wouldn't bother me in the least, other times I'm just looking for something to set me off, get me mad. At different times of the year if I'm not playing well I've got to find something that will go, and if it means getting a little upset at myself or taking a divot or something, then I'll do it. But it's just a matter of knowing what gets me going. Sometimes when I get mad and people -- I hear people say, well, whether it's me doing it or not, I usually don't get that bad a temper now, but I see somebody, oh, he's losing it, you can't count on him. Sometimes that's what you need to fire them up. That gets you upset. If nothing is happening you've got to do something to break it. I find late in the year I tend to get more upset with bad breaks.

This hadn't been the best of years for me, so it's one that I'd like to finish up on a high note. I've got a few tournaments left to try to do it, and this is one, and it's a special tournament for me, especially with it being the last year, but I'm not going out there with any extra pressure because I realize that if I'm one or two back that I'm going to have to play a really good round, and that might not even be good enough. But I've got to feel that I can shoot a good enough round then I can still win.

Q. The people that are at the top, and you being one of them, have been around for a while, veterans, have been winners. Is there something that gives you an edge or helps them in this kind of situation, having already -- knowing how to win?

SCOTT HOCH: Well, we've gone through it a lot, and it helps me knowing that I've won on this course. I've played here so many times, I know how to play the course, probably more so than some of the other guys. Other than that, I wouldn't say -- you get some young guy up there that's just playing well, and he's not even thinking about anything else. He's not worried about these old farts that are in contention. He's just going to go out there and try to beat us down, which is what I tried to do when I was younger.

Q. When you see guys like Corey and Billy Mayfair --

SCOTT HOCH: I played with Corey the first two days.

Q. He hadn't won since 96, Billy hasn't won since 98. When you're in the locker room, do you look at those guys and say they're going to break through, and you say wow, this might be the week for Corey or do you not think about the other guys?

SCOTT HOCH: Not so much for Corey. Billy is just a streaky player. Sometimes he's off the radar screen and then all of a sudden he's at the top of his game. Could be a big amount, could be any tournament. That's just the way Billy plays. Corey, he he's had some difficulties for a while, and a lot of the courses it's tough for him to compete with his lack of length off the tee. I played with him the first two days and I saw how he did it here. It's pretty impressive to watch him maneuver around this course differently. He's got to play the game differently than anybody else out here.

Q. Is there any element for you guys of rooting for guys like that?

SCOTT HOCH: Well, I hope they do well, but I still hope I beat them. You always hope especially the older guys or just guys that have been through a tough time, like man, I couldn't have been more happier a couple months ago when Gene Sauers won. That's unbelievable to be at the depths that he was and all of a sudden he won. That's just something outstanding. It's something you like to see, I don't care, in any sport, a guy that's been down to be able to come back and get on top again. The younger guys, they've got plenty of time to do it. We realize us older guys, that we don't have as many opportunities left as they do, so we don't want to waste anything.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Scott, can we go through your birdies, please, starting with 2?

SCOTT HOCH: Okay, about an eight-footer on two.

I was just on the fringe of the green on 3, chipped it up close, a foot and a half or so, and then --

Q. 6?

SCOTT HOCH: 6 I knocked it about five feet for birdie, and 7 was a two-putt for birdie.

Q. How far?

SCOTT HOCH: It was about 40 feet.

Q. 11?

SCOTT HOCH: 11 was about 15 feet, 12 to 15 feet.

Then 13 was about five feet, and then 15 I hit two great shots. I hit a shot that I was worried about if I could get it to the green and I knocked it over the green, and I had a decent lie and a good chip, rolled right by the hole about eight feet and missed it. That was disappointing there.

Then I missed my second fairway on 16, and then I hit a shot that ran all the way over the green, about five yards over the green and didn't make a very good chip and then make a long putt for par. That was another key. I mean, it wasn't a birdie but that was a key because the next hole I hit an 8-iron about three feet for birdie.

Q. How long was the putt on 16?

SCOTT HOCH: 16, it was probably 15 feet. The other par 3 that I didn't birdie I probably hit just as good a shot and putt on the other ones. It's always something special if you can get four deuces on the card. I hit a putt and it barely missed. Work on your par 3 stats.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Are you all set? Thank you, Scott.

End of FastScripts....

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