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July 4, 1998

Scott Hoch


Q. Following rounds of 65 and 68 with a 64. That's pretty strong.

SCOTT HOCH: Yes, that's true. There's not a question there.

Q. You said you had fun out there today?

SCOTT HOCH: Yeah, I played well. Most of the good shots I hit I capitalized on. Hey, it's always easier playing with one of the top players, playing with the ball makes things -- makes you on your toes and play hard. You know, if you don't play well, he's going to run on by you. I've been fortunate enough to play with him the last three days and also Vijay, the first two days with him. To me, that's the important part of the tournament, when you're playing with the good players. You can kind of pace yourself, play off of them. If you play well, they can play off you, too. It's been enjoyable. I told him I wish he was going to make that 30, 40 foot on the last hole, so we could play again.

Q. How do you feel going into tomorrow?

SCOTT HOCH: You know, I feel good. I'm playing well, not real well. I'm not driving as well as I'd like to. I haven't been driving as well the last two or three weeks. But today I hit some poor drives. I got one drive that probably cost me two shots on the fifth hole. I mean, on the par five, I guess, is that six? I bogied six, which is a birdie hole for me. That's where it cost me. I guess the other ones didn't. When I hit good drives, for the most part, I hit good shots in the greens, made most of my putts that I'm supposed to make. I actually had a couple there that I thought I hit good putts on that broke differently than what I thought it was going to from about 8 or 10 feet. But, you know, I had a number of close. It makes for an easier round.

Q. I'm not going to ask anymore. Obviously I don't know how to ask questions. Did the weather shift for you? Did you start off when it was windy and did it die down for you? Did that have any effect on you?

SCOTT HOCH: I didn't notice much change out there. I noticed the wind was blowing fairly consistent. And I didn't notice a whole lot of difference. I was playing much different as far as how it was affecting my shots. Some areas of the course are more shielded than others from the wind. But, you know, the wind was coming from a little different direction today, which made 15 play easier, or it let me get a chance to go to for the green. Fortunately for me I was able to hit the green with my drive and two-putt for birdie. That's something I don't normally do.

Q. When you're in this position going into the last round, do you feel this is your tournament?

SCOTT HOCH: I feel I'm playing well. I can't say no that I ever go into a tournament and say I know this is my tournament. That's not my way if I get too overconfident. I remember one time I felt very confident about something and went in there and just -- just got beat to death. So, you know, I go out there. I think you have to have some type of fear factor in there. That's what kind of pushes you on and motivates you, and I'll go out there tomorrow and on this course it's not like -- it's not like I'm leading seven or eight under, I can shoot two or three under with the lead and win. It's a course, as you've seen, that there's been a lot of low scores. If I go out there and shoot two under, then I don't think that's going to be good enough. Unless the weather is poor or something, I think I've got to do better than that. You've got to go out with a mind set, just like you have the first three days. You have to make birdies and you have to shoot a good score. It's not a matter of trying to hold on when you have a course that's yielding scores like this one is, because if you had a five or six shot lead, that's different. I'm maybe one-shot lead, might even be tied, who knows, by the end of the day. So I have to go out there -- anybody in my position has to go out there and think they have to shoot a low score to win.

Q. Do you prefer where you just have to shoot a par or one under, or do you prefer shooting three or four under?

SCOTT HOCH: Sure, it's easier to do that. It's easier with my type of game to do that. Whereas if you're consistent and hit some fairways and greens and throw a birdie every now and then in there, you might make a bogey. That's more my type of game. Where it's a shot out is not necessarily my type of game. I'm shooting a lot of good shots, a lot of good wedges, making some good putts. I felt I've already read these greens pretty well, for the most part, over the years.

Q. We came in here, looked like you'd be paired with Mize. I assume over the years you must have played a lot together.

SCOTT HOCH: Actually, we haven't played a whole lot together.

Q. Is that right?

SCOTT HOCH: No. I mean, we've played some, but, you know, we probably -- years ago we probably played some, but I'm not sure our games, or we play well in the same type of courses, I don't know.

Q. That's what I was going to ask. I would think you would have similar -- I don't know --

SCOTT HOCH: Are you saying I'm short?

Q. You've never seen me. You know, would you prefer -- you don't have a choice, obviously. Do you prefer a young (inaudible) like Duval or would it be nice --

SCOTT HOCH: Summer it's especially be nice to be able to outdrive somebody every now and then. But, you know, other than that, I just like to play with somebody that's playing well. You know, that's the key and, if I play with Larry, I'll be looking forward to it, because he's a good, a very good player. He's straight. He probably hadn't played as well. Obviously, he hadn't played as well in the last few years as he did before. And, you know, that might be a reason we haven't played. I don't remember playing that much with him. We haven't played much lately. I guess he played his best golf earlier on and then my best golf has probably been within the last four years, four or five years or so.

Q. Scott, knowing how many guys can still win, how many -- are you going to try not to look at the leaderboard?

SCOTT HOCH: Leaderboard doesn't bother me.

Q. Doesn't bother you?

SCOTT HOCH: No, it doesn't bother me. Doesn't affect me one way or the other.

Q. How can't it?

SCOTT HOCH: How can't it?

Q. Yeah.

SCOTT HOCH: I just look up there -- I'm still doing what I can. Obviously, it will make a difference coming down the stretch or at a certain point when I decide, hey, I'm behind. I've got to put it in gear. I might take a little more chance here or there; or I'm ahead a certain bit, so I won't take a chance that I might if I was behind, or even. So in that respect, it would. For the most part, I mean, I'll look at it from time to time, but I'm not fixated on it. If somebody else is playing well, you know, then I kind of get that feeling, I'll look up there and see it. That will make me maybe try to put it in gear a little more. But other than that, other than that, it really doesn't affect me too much. As a matter of fact, if I get a lead, sometimes in the past that has hurt me. It's not anymore. I've had a tournament or two in the past. I seen a big lead and thought it was over. And it was, it was over for me.

Q. Did anything happen to you this week that told you maybe this was going to be a good week for you, kind of good luck thing happen?

SCOTT HOCH: I showed up at the tournament. I always feel it's going to be a good week. Whenever -- if I'm going to play, I feel it's going to be a good week. Otherwise, what good is there playing? Anything more out of the ordinary than other tournaments, I just enjoy playing here. And I probably haven't played here as much as I would have, as I should have, or I'd like. I was up here last year, my back bothered me. I had to withdraw before the tournament even started. That's disappointing. But ever since the course didn't use to be so much of a shoot-out. Last few years, they've had some heavy rough. As soon as the scores starting coming down, meaning worse for the winning score, then it plays more into my type of course. I played well here a couple of times. Back on the old -- back when it was the old goat track, original goat track, now it's a good course. Now I enjoy playing it. It was pretty bad before. I probably came and played it then. Be sure to get that right. That was before, not now. I think it's a good, very enjoyable course to play now. It's a good course, too.

Q. How does your back feel this week?

SCOTT HOCH: Hasn't bothered me yet. I had a few occasions it bothered me this year. It all started at Muirfield last year. We went out to finish our round on Monday, finished the last round, first shot I hit. It went out on me. I had to pay for it since.

Q. Why don't you go through the round?

SCOTT HOCH: I made a 40-feet birdie putt on the first hole, a good start. I didn't hit a particularly good iron shot to the green. Second hole I hit it about five feet for birdie with a sand wedge, made that. I guess my next one was a bogey. I missed -- I hit it all over the place on the sixth hole and ended up having about a seven foot putt for par. I read it right, I just missed it. I knocked it about five or six feet on eight. I made that for birdie. I thought I hit a good shot on nine. I thought I made my putt there, but early call got me. I hit it about seven or eight feet. I put putted it when it was up. I knew it was in. All of a sudden, it didn't break like I thought. I birdied ten from the fringe, probably 25 feet, and then I birdied 13, par five, I hit a sand wedge in about a foot. 15, I drove the green and two-putted for birdie from about 45 feet. And then 18 I hit it about eight feet past the hole, made that for birdies.

Q. What did you hit in there?

SCOTT HOCH: Hit an eight iron.

Q. How about on 17, is that a scary second shot?

SCOTT HOCH: Shouldn't have been. I had a good lie in the trap. Back on 12 I hit in it the bunker and didn't have a good lie on and hit it fat coming out. I had a big lip there. I had to make sure I hit the ball first even -- I mean, I had to get it up, even though the lie wasn't too good. Like I said, I hit that one a little fat. I was able to get it up and down for par on 12. This was a fairly good lie. The ball was sitting final. Normally it would be fine. I did push it a little right. I got a good bounce off the fringe and it left me on to green, not a good birdie opportunity. Obviously, I could have been worse off.

Q. (Inaudible.)

SCOTT HOCH: Maybe 150 foot in the front right, which is where the pin was. Then another 11 or 12 back to the pin.

Q. Did you hit a seven iron?

SCOTT HOCH: Seven iron. If you're in a bunker with water in front, that's the kind of shot you want to have, the way I had it; a nice, firm sand, ball sitting up, good shape and you have to hit a bad shot to hit in the water.

Q. (Inaudible.)

SCOTT HOCH: Easy for you to say. I'd have to have a bad shot. I think, most of the other guys do.

Q. 17 seems to be such a pivotal hole around here. Mark Brooks takes a double. He's leading the tournament. He takes a double. Obviously, Donnie --

SCOTT HOCH: What did he do?

Q. Hit it up on the bank and didn't get it over.

SCOTT HOCH: From the fairway?

Q. No, left.


Q. Donnie Hammond takes a sextuplet?

SCOTT HOCH: Well, 17 can be tough if you don't hit a good shot. That's all I can say. Today is not going to play much easier, as far as conditions. You're downwind. A lot of guys don't have to hit a driver. To me, that hole plays toughest in the wind. You have to hit a driver. You better hit it straight and you have to hit a good second shot. Today being downwind like Duval, he hit a three-wood. He could have hit an iron. He could have probably hit an iron and still hit a six iron, maybe. As it was, he hit a three-wood and probably hit -- probably hit a nine-iron.

Q. Did you hit a driver or three-wood?

SCOTT HOCH: Driver. It's not that hard off the tee for me. I aimed to cut it. I'd driven it perfect the first two days. I tried to cut it. I hit it solid. Barely cut in it. I'm trying to hit almost a slice out there. If it moved any right, it didn't move much.

Q. Your approaches on the back nine, they really shaved some strokes off, particularly on the back nine, the 13th and again on the 17th and 18th.

SCOTT HOCH: My irons, I hit a lot of good iron shots this week. I still hit some poor ones. I hit some good ones and been able to capitalize on a lot of them. Obviously, the par fives, I feel when I get on par five I'm going to birdie it. As long as I hit two, I will get it there. I mean, I don't know if they had it on TV. On 13, my third shot there, I hit it in the air. I said, that's going to be perfect. It will hit in just past the pin. It sucked back to the hole, landed, sucked back to the hole. That would be like one of those guys, one of the of the guys, you know, they already know what's happening. It's on replay and they call it, make everybody think how smart they are. I called this one in the air. It's amazing when you're watching and all of a sudden they don't ever show this person all day. All of a sudden, they show him, the ball goes in the hole or he makes a great shot. I believe that's all taped.

Q. That's how Rosie gets it right all the time.

End of FastScripts....

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