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June 22, 2000

Scott Hoch


LEE PATTERSON: Thank you, Scott, for joining us. Maybe just a couple of thoughts about your round today and then we will open it up for questions.

SCOTT HOCH: Well, I was about ready to pack it in after the first few holes and head on home. It is kind of tough bogeying the first two holes here. But I said, well, I had a few hiccoughs last week at the Open and kind of stuck with it and turned it around and then having a pretty decent tournament, so I said, why can't I do it here. Just needed to make that first putt. I did. Then started hitting some decent shots and made some more putts. All of a sudden went from 2-over to maybe a couple under at the turn. So then the back 9 was, whole new 9, which I played much better.

Q. How do you make that transition from the Open where you are thinking in a different mentality to an event like this, just from the standpoint of, not only it being a major, but the setup?

SCOTT HOCH: I was disappointed when I came here and find out we didn't have any rough, but that is an ongoing problem I have with -- on some of the courses. I am not here every year, but to me it seems like this is the least amount of rough I have ever played here. That will be conducive to lower scores and so the first the first nine, I was kind of all over the place and I actually probably would have knocked me out of contention if we had had some rough where I hit it. But I was able to scramble even though I was hitting some poor shots, scramble, even make some birdies out of them, or if not, make some pars after the first couple of holes. Because I really didn't play very well until -- the first seven holes were pretty poor. I was just getting a good bit out of it because I was hitting it where I did -- hitting my poor shots where I still had a chance to do something with them. Then the back side wouldn't have made much difference because I hit every fairway -- well, I missed the 10th hole. I hit my second shot over the green on 10. I think that might have been the only green I missed. But I hit all the fairways. I was a different player for the first seven holes than I was for the last 11, but that is the way it is sometimes.

Q. How have you felt about your game last few week? Obviously everyone struggled last week except for one person, but how have you felt about your game coming into here?

SCOTT HOCH: Well, it has been kind of inconsistent. I just thought -- thought Tiger did something exceptional last week, but I think everybody else just didn't play very good. I don't think I nearly played nearly as hard as -- I mean, I can't see anybody other than Tiger -- I don't see why nobody else broke par than Tiger. To me, it didn't make sense because I didn't feel like I played very well. Especially I think I was nine over on 9 and 10 for the week and I finished 9 over for the tournament, so just -- obviously can't throw out holes, but even though I didn't, I feel I played very well. If I had played those holes a little better and then done a little better elsewhere then I could have done much better. But I am sure everybody could look at it that way. It is just -- I don't know, I feel I am playing decent but I go out there and, like today, I just hit drives, a couple off -- hit a decent shot on the first hole just off the green, make a poor chip and missed the putt. That is the way you start -- second hole hit it behind a tree - still should have made par. I hit it on the fringe even though it was about 60 feet away and tried to putt it, didn't get up the hill and missed about an eight foot par-putt there. So just with me, I think I am playing fairly decent, but I am just getting them the wrong way few times, few times than I used to. Maybe it is old age or brain cramps or Alzheimers, I don't know what it is, but sometimes I can't seem to stay focused especially if I make one mistake then I tend to follow it up on the next hole with another. Whereas, before I would -- lots of times if I make a bogey, I wouldn't make another bogey until at least a birdie, either par or birdie was going to follow the bogey. Now it seems like I make a bogey, and lots of times I am following it with another bogey or double before I make my next birdie. So that is the one thing I can see in my game just really not as consistent as it was last few years. I started seeing that a little more last year too, kind of wasn't as strong as it was the years previous. But I am also getting to the time of the year where it is nice for me when it starts warming up; that is when I tend to play my best. I don't particularly care for the cool weather. You usually don't have cool weather here, so maybe this has been a good start now that the old bones are getting loose.

Q. Can you talk about the mental preparation of like the difference between a major and coming to a regular event, if you treat them any differently or things you have to do differently to get ready for them?

SCOTT HOCH: I am probably the wrong one to talk with there. I used to treat them a lot differently. Then something happened one tournament to where I didn't treat it any differently and almost won and then I started to thinking back about what I had done in the past in majors and it wasn't very good. So then I said, well, I am just going to start treating them like any other tournament; same preparation; not get there any earlier; don't play anymore practice rounds; don't really hit -- I hit a few more balls, but not many. As soon as I switched my mindset to where treating the majors or the bigger tournaments just like all the other tournaments, then I started doing much better in that them. That was 10, 11 years ago. But up until then, I hadn't done very well in majors because I'd get there and grind and do stuff I don't normally do meaning grinding, hitting a lot of practice balls, shots out of the rough, all that stuff, and, shoot, I was mentally tired by the time the tournament started. But that doesn't apply to many guys. You get the top players that gear everything around the majors and I don't. I treat all the tournaments the same, try to prepare for them the same, obviously I'd like to do better and do well in the majors, stuff like that, but I don't have the luxury of skipping three four weeks before the different majors and honing my game to fit that because I have only got one game. Other guys might be able to change theirs but I have only got one.

Q. What is the environment or atmosphere at a major as opposed to a regular event as far as the number of people, number of media, number of responsibilities for a player, is it -- is it vastly different to you or through the years have you been able to block that out?

SCOTT HOCH: I think they are what you make it. Like I said, as soon as I started treating it differently and -- well as soon as I started treating it the same-- didn't have any different preparation for there as I would for here or as I would for any other tournament, you know, other people might treat it differently have more responsibility, more -- I guess there are some more headaches involved. I know there are more headaches for me at Augusta because you have people wanting tickets really bad and, you know, X sponsors, X companies that you represent, and everybody wants a little piece of you. I mean, it is very good, but, you know, you want to help them out so you do what you can so that is a little extra on your mind, but I try not to worry about that. I try to let my wife handle all that stuff just like you hear in basketball games, in the Playoffs, the guys said look, unless it is my immediate family, I am not going to take any calls, so you deal with my wife or if you want tickets, you know, people might not bother him all season and then all of a sudden 40 or 50 people ask him for tickets for a playoff game. It is kind of the same for majors, more people are interested. Plus it is tougher to get tickets, obviously, for those tournaments and that is the strain on you. That is one thing that might be tougher to work with, but then everything else as far as your golf game, you have control of how you prepare for it and how you deal with it. So there really aren't any outside agencies there. But tournaments, regular tournaments like we have on Tour, like this one and most all the other ones, the tournament sponsors and tournament people couldn't be any better to the players as far as giving us the tickets we need; especially the guys -- I am sure Loren Roberts has busted the bank here as far as getting tickets for all the people that have asked him and you got other people that live here too. But they are very accommodating to the players. And that is the one thing that is probably different as far as we see, they are much more accommodating because they do what they can to get the players here. Whereas, a lot of people in the majors, they figure well we are the majors, you are coming no matter what so... Charge us for tickets and everything else at the major tournaments.

End of FastScripts...

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