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March 23, 2001

Scott Hoch


LEE PATTERSON: Thank you for coming in and spending some time with us. Maybe just a couple thoughts about today and as you head into the weekend, and we'll open it up for questions.

SCOTT HOCH: Well, today I played a -- started off playing better than I did yesterday. I said yesterday I didn't hit it particularly well, but I got away with a lot of stuff. I hit some good shots and some good putts early, and nothing was happening. Then I was just kind of going along, and I finally hit a couple good shots to make birdie. Then the last few holes, I didn't hit it quite so well, but I got away with it. Kind of reverted back to yesterday. Left a few drives right, on 16 and 18 -- 17 -- (inaudible) --and I drove again right on 18, but fortunately I was 1-under for those three holes, so I got away with three not very good shots. That was kind of the way my game was yesterday. But early on, hit some good shots and hit good putts, but they were not going. It's just the difference in the day.

Q. Today you said the putts were not going in, but you stuck with it and you stuck with the mental attitude?

SCOTT HOCH: Well, I just hung in there. I looked at it that a lot of people were doing pretty well early. I felt I was playing well enough to, if I made one, then -- I was hitting enough good shots. It was tough hitting it close. But with the wind blowing like it is and not really consistent, it really is tough to get the ball close to these pins. I'm hitting them 10, 15 feet, a lot of my good shots were, but hitting a lot of good putts, but they just were not going. Just stick with it. It is when you are not hitting good shots and you are not making good putts; that is when you start to worry. When you are hitting it pretty good and coming close on the putts and hitting them the way you want to, you know that eventually you are going to read one right and putt it right. And that's kind of the way I felt out there today. Like I said, I made a couple, and right at the end. I made some good putts, on 16 and 18.

Q. You mentioned -- well, several times you have mentioned about the way you think courses should be set up. Do you feel like you are any -- are deaf ears listening in on that, or is it getting through to anybody?

SCOTT HOCH: I think all courses should be set up that way. I just think that I would like to see -- well, consistently, at least in the last two or three years, I've noticed that it seems like most of the courses we play have less rough or a lot less rough than we've had in the past, barring maybe two or three. But they do seem to have less. I don't know any of them that have more. I don't know -- well, actually I do know. I have kind of complained about it, and I have talked to Tim about it. He's a good commissioner, because whoever asks him, he agrees with whatever they say. So you think he's on your side. But I've said that a number of times, because I played in a tournament last year where if the conditions were the same as they were the year before, I would have missed the cut. And here I was there in the interview room getting -- you know, I'm not even tied for the lead after two rounds or one back or something like that. I did get some feedback last year saying that our advisory council, whoever determines how the course -- how the courses should be played, had decided it would probably be best if you don't have severe rough, but just have rough enough where you hit fliers, where it is tough to control the ball. So it's tough for somebody to control the ball, but it's much easier when the long hitters are hitting 8- and 9-irons. So that's where I disagree with. But just about everybody on that committee were long hitters. So why wouldn't they do it? Well, when I said that, then he said, "Well, that's because of Tiger. That's to favor Tiger, isn't it?" I said, "No." He's proven he can play the U.S. Open where the rough can be as tall as it wants to, and I think it is still an advantage for him -- it would be more of an advantage for him if the rough was higher because he can get it farther down in the rough. He might be the only one to get some of those on the green. But, this is what they determined how they want to set up all of their courses, and there are not many out there that have rough now. I think Greensboro usually does. New York -- or the Buick up in New York usually has some pretty good rough. Right offhand, I can't think of anywhere else that has rough as much as they used to have. Everything else just seems to have gotten a lot less. And also, when you do that, like on par 5s, you have flying rough and stuff like that. Long hitters can hit it in the rough and still get it to the green; whereas, medium to short hitters are not going to be able to. I think that has a lot to do with how low the scores have been to date, the winning scores. We've had some bad weather out there. And look at Calcavecchia, some bad weather -- obviously, he skewed the winning score because he played so well. I think he went and won by seven or nine shots, I don't know. But still, the winning scores I think somebody said were about two to three shots lower on average than they had been in the past. I'm like anybody else out here. I would just like to see more courses set up to fit my game than to make -- than to go against my game. I think right now we have very few that are like that, and it is getting fewer and fewer each year. But again, then I don't know what kind of course fits my game anyway, other than this one, since they have grew the rough up. I think that has to be more -- that has to be just as much mental or attitude-wise as it has to do with really how the course is, because before that, it is the same course, except it did not have rough and I could not make the cut. So if I still would have played the same, I would have made the cut. I just think, well, that's attitude you get here, and you see that you can hit it anywhere and guys are hitting it everywhere and killing. You just get frustrated, and I think that's really what got me in the beginning. But I tell you one thing: The conditions of the courses are in really good shape. That's much better than I think it ever has been, for all of the tournaments in general.

LEE PATTERSON: Take us through your birdies real quick.

SCOTT HOCH: I birdied 4. I hit a wedge about two feet on 4. I bogeyed 7. I hit it in the right rough. I pitched out and had about a 60-yard shot and really hit a good shot. It hit and bounced right by the pin and rolled about six feet by. I misread that one and missed it. Then 11, I hit in the front -- knocked it in the front bunker. Hit a real good shot about three or four feet and made that for birdie. Then I made some real good 2-putts. And then on 14, I hit an 8-iron probably about 20 feet and made that. Then I bogeyed 15 from the middle of the fairway with a 4-iron. And drove it right on 16 in the rough. Had it over the edge of the water and actually had a good lay-up and actually had a sand wedge to the green and hit it 12 feet. Thought I hit it closer than that, but the ball did not hop up there. Then I made that putt. Then 18, I was fortunate enough to make about a 10-footer for par. I drove it right there. Started getting the rights toward the end. Looking for the clubhouse.

LEE PATTERSON: Thank you, Scott. Appreciate it.

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