Q. A lot has been made for courses being set up too much for bombers, how does this one set up?
SCOTT HOCH: I think it's a pretty fair course for everybody. They seem to have pinched in the fairways some. They have some rough out there. Sure, you can hit some shots in the rough and have a decent lie and be able to get it on the green but yet even if your decent lie is in the rough, I'm talking about out of the first cut into the main rough, it's still tough to get the ball closer to keep the ball on the green. I mean, I think this is a very fair course because there are a lot of holes here that are slight dog-legs and with the winds coming across, the guys just can't bomb it out there. The wind is going to move it. Actually, a lot of the holes are crosswind. So I mean you have to hit good shots to keep the ball in the fairway and I think to score you have to keep the ball in the fairway here, and if you miss the greens, whether you are hitting out of the rough or hitting out of the fairway to miss the greens you get some pretty gnarly lies out there around the greens. They got some good rough.
What most people think that I complain about is I want to play short courses with rough. That's not true. You can get an 8,000 yard course if you want to, as long as it has rough or penalty for errant shots. I think that's another thing that Nick Price was talking about in L.A. It's getting to where it is a bomber's course, a bomber's TOUR. But they would run the TOUR. That's what the people are drawn to. It's always been that way.
I mean other than Gary Player what short hitter has really gotten a whole lot of notoriety since those days. The long hitters are the ones that have carried the TOUR. The longer I have been out here the more they have given them the benefit, and because every time they tee up they seemed to be favored because of the way the courses are set up. And I think a lot of us would like to just see more variety. I mean I love to see all of the courses fit my game but I know that's not fair. Just like the long hitters, they shouldn't all fit their game. And for the last couple of years -- not so much last year but 2001 -- 2000, 2001, it seems like the courses were really set up easy for the long hitters. Last year seemed to be better and what I have seen this year it seems like the setup has been good. Except on the West Coast. That's why I don't go to the West Coast. You have pro-ams there. You can't have much rough. So you can't play the courses as tough as they can play. You have to play them easy, that's why I don't go. I can't compete now with the long hitters out on the West Coast. But I think they are doing a better job from what I have seen the last two or three weeks as far as setting things up.
And I heard that they had a tour meeting and that is one of the things they said they want to do, without making all of these courses so much longer, as far as making them more difficult, let's figure other ways to make them more difficult. About the only way you do that is rough or hard greens.
SCOTT HOCH: But even if you have hard greens that still favors the long hitter if you don't have rough.
Q. Scott, what was the putter you were using before you went to the Futura?
SCOTT HOCH: A Scotty Cameron. That's just a basic design, my design, the one that works good for me.
Q. Is this one the same style?
SCOTT HOCH: No, you have to see it. It looks like a potato masher with holes in it. I don't know. It looks very different, that's the thing you got to get past, is how it looks. I go for how a club looks. I'm very traditional as far as how clubs look. This one does not fit the traditional pattern at all so it's taking some getting used to as far as looking down at it. The proof is in the pudding. It rolls so good. If you can look past that, how it looks, and you can get used to it. I hope I do get used to it. That means I will continue to putt well with it and still use it.
Q. You can take it to the British Open this year.
SCOTT HOCH: I probably can.
Q. Are you going to the Open this year?
SCOTT HOCH: Yes. What? (Laughter) That's yet to be decided.
Q. It's a little early for that?
SCOTT HOCH: Are we playing one of the Saint courses?
Q. Yes. It's the one where they did Goldfinger, Royal St. George's?
SCOTT HOCH: That's the Saint course. I have a tough time with the Saint courses over there. Anything with the Saint courses has been tough on me.
Q. Which irons are you using this week?
SCOTT HOCH: The Unix, (phonetic) the same ones that I played last week when I first got them in L.A. or started playing with them in L.A. I was swinging back for a few days then I started hitting it better on Sunday at L.A., then I really started hitting it good. During my first 3 matches I was really hitting my irons really well. It's back like the old days. I was really hitting it right at the pin. New ball, new clubs, they were on line, but sometimes I didn't quite get the yardages right. I was really hitting them good and then we had to play it down when I played Tiger, that put me behind the 8 ball right there. All of a sudden I'm hitting 5 irons for the first 7, 8 holes, and with dirt and mud and water on them, there is dew, and how wet the fairways were, and all of a sudden now I couldn't hit my shots in there in birdie range. So that made a difference for me, then I started playing better. But he already put the vice on me and wouldn't let go.
Q. Are the old irons still in Japan or at home?
SCOTT HOCH: No, they were at home when I got there. As a matter of fact, I brought them here. I got a couple of other sets, too. We will see, they got a new model they want me to try. I'm off this next week I might -- they do look really good. That's one thing about it. Their clubs are by far the best irons that I ever played with. That's why I have been able to stay with them for all of these years. They make great clubs.
Q. You threatened to maybe not go back to Augusta last year, you said I don't know if I'm coming back?
SCOTT HOCH: After I played it?
Q. Yes, after you played a couple of rounds.
SCOTT HOCH: I don't know where you got that.
Q. I believe it was from you.
SCOTT HOCH: No, no after I played it -- I said beforehand, I said I can't see going back if the course is playing like they are talking about, all of these long -- after I played it, I thought, man, it doesn't fit my game, but I like it better. It's more of a challenge now than it was before. It was a long hitter's course. It didn't matter where they hit it. Now the long hitter has to govern his ball, has to position his ball, has to be able to control his ball. So that takes a lot of long hitters that aren't very accurate out of the equation. So I think in that respect it has eliminated a number of people. Unfortunately, it made it tougher for me with the length. But it wasn't just the length that they added. They added the position where they put the trouble. They did such a good job with that of throttling all of the long hitters's back unless they wanted to hit it between the bunker and trees or something like that and still hit a driver. I was much more pleased with the additions when I got there and played than when I hurt about it beforehand. But, no, after I played I didn't say I wouldn't go back. I didn't know if I qualified to go back. That might have been the thing but not because I thought it was unfair or unjust. It's a unique tournament. It's tough for me to play well there now the way they have it but it's a unique tournament that I always like to qualify for and play in.
Q. I would hate to see you miss it in year, because there is not going to be much going on now.
SCOTT HOCH: I just don't know which picket line to get in. You got so many good groups that are going to be there.
JOHN BUSH: Scott, thanks for coming in and good luck the rest of the week.
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