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April 27, 2001

Scott Hoch


JOAN V.T. ALEXANDER: Thank you, Scott for joining us here for a few minutes in the interview room. I know another consistent round 4-under, 68, for 8-under, 136. Local favorite. Why don't you make a couple of comments about your round; then we will go into a couple of quick questions.

SCOTT HOCH: Well, actually today I played much better than yesterday. Yesterday was very suspect early, made a lot of really good saves and then after that I played well, but I kept -- I had to make, gosh, a lot of 4 -, 6-foot putts all day. Then today hit a lot of good shots and actually you know, as far as putting goes, didn't putt that well. Hit a lot of shots close and the par 5s, that makes it easier when I don't know if I hit any in two today, but I had mostly easy birdie putts on the par 5s. I made three bogeys on par 3s; actually a couple of good shots just went through the greens and normally for easy chips and chip them up four, five feet, and missed the putt today. So obviously could have been a really good round today but I was pleased with 4-under. It was just slow start and then I made the four birdies in a row. That kind of was my round right there.

Q. Is everyone starting to adjust to this shorter rough?

SCOTT HOCH: Well, I think it is more -- if you adjust to longer rough when you have it, otherwise when you don't have it, there is no adjustment, I don't think. It is just a matter of -- I mean, I do things differently. I am not concerned -- it might hurt my game actually that -- when we don't have as much rough, I probably don't concentrate as much as I should off the tee. I mean I have missed some fairways but most of the fairways I have missed have been the short rough which have enabled me to actually make some birdies from there. But gosh, I mean the par 3s, some of them are tough, but you have got to hit a poor drive or poor second shot if you are going to make a bogey on the par 4s because if you hit -- I mean I saw enough of them today where guys hit poor drives in my group and you know, made easy pars or birdies. So that is what happens when you don't have much of a penalty off the tee.

Q. Looking for an old-fashioned shoot-out this weekend?

SCOTT HOCH: What is that? (Laughs).

Q. (Inaudible)

SCOTT HOCH: I think, yeah, it could be. Nobody --I don't think anybody is running away. This afternoon, I think, the guys that are playing will be really receptive to the shots to the greens because the greens are still holding, still soft. It is not much wind so I expect some low numbers today this afternoon, so yeah, I think there will be a quite a few guys up there after two rounds that will be from 7 to 10-under. It might even be more than that, I don't know, this afternoon.

Q. How do you feel like you have played overall this year?

SCOTT HOCH: No good. Look at my stats. I thought I played better in my stats though. Normally I am known as good iron player and I think last time I checked I was like 160th or 170th in par three birdies. Today was the same thing. I made three bogeys on par 3s. So so much for the misconception of being a good iron player. I have been very inconsistent in my putting too, I guess and -- just hasn't been a very good year for me. I have had a couple of good tournaments TPC and -- or Bay Hill and TPC back-to-back, and that is probably why I am as -- why I am as high as I am on the money list, but I have been in position to have a number of good tournaments but just haven't done it. Sundays have not been very kind to me lately although this past Sunday I played pretty well, but hit a lot of good shots, but the better shot I hit last week I made bogey with it. That was the first time I played in a lot of wind with that new Titleist ball and I couldn't control it. I couldn't keep it down.

Q. Are you putting as much work in your game as you like you always have?

SCOTT HOCH: You mean: Do I put as little work in my game as I usually do?

Q. Yes.(Laughs)?

SCOTT HOCH: That would be more appropriate for me. Yes, by the same small amount as I have always done. No, I have never put -- I learned early on that if I go out and beat a lot of balls it doesn't do me any good. I also found out that if I did that I would be more susceptible to nagging injuries such as -- I mean I had hand injuries and stuff when I was younger and back and stuff like that, so I found early on that I wasn't a beater of the ball -- of a lot of balls; I had to have quality over quantity.

Q. I guess earlier this week --I wasn't here early this week -- but apparently you came in and said or told somebody you were very disappointed about the rough. (Inaudible)?

SCOTT HOCH: Well, look at the guys on top, it must be, look at the guys that -- when I just saw the board there, Simpson, myself, Maggert, you know, got two old guys and a middle-aged guy in there right now, so apparently it is. No, I said enough about that earlier, but yes, I was disappointed because they always have rough here and unfortunately the Tour over the last year or two has gone to a lot less rough than they had in the past at most all the courses. It kind of ticks me off because I'd like to see a variety. I am not for -- I am not for rough where you just chip it out. I mean, if we do that two or three times a year, okay, you know, TPC, U.S. Open, PGA sometimes, but other than that we don't. I just like to see the courses that naturally have a good bit of rough, keep it. Instead of all of them having very little rough which seems to be the case where we are going and who does that favor, that favors the long hitter that is not that straight. It doesn't favor Tiger or Davis Love or guys like that, that hit long and straight. Actually it hurts them too, but what it does hurt is the guy that is accurate. Where, you know, his forte is driving the ball and when I am playing good I drive it well. So by doing that, I mean I get upset because that is taking money out of my pocket, I feel. And all I hear is that we want variety out here, so have some tournaments without much rough; have some with mediocre rough and have a few with deep rough. I mean that is my feelings, but that is my opinion, but that has never meant much.

Q. Is it a motivator for you when you become embroiled in a bit of controversy like this week?

SCOTT HOCH: No, no more than usual. If that was the case I'd try to find something every week. But no, I am -- I guess the only controversy I get in these days is complaining about the rough from time to time. I know I did last year at one tournament, I said something about the rough and I was fined for it and then when they found out it was true they rescinded it, so..... But no, I am not looking for it, no. I was disappointed because I came here first of all, the week that they are having this year worked good in my schedule this year. In the past maybe it hasn't so well. But then I also expected to come up here and find a course that was more conducive to my game than what I found.

Q. Did Finchem get back to you on Wednesday?

SCOTT HOCH: I have talked to him since, yes.

Q. What did he tell you?

SCOTT HOCH: We just talked about things. I will just keep that private.

Q. We are going to have a new course here in the next couple of years. Your thoughts what kind of course that you'd like to see?

SCOTT HOCH: I do not have give any thought what type of course. I have to play it see, see if I like it. See if I don't. I have never been that much of a fan of TPC courses because all of them seem to favor long hitters. Like carries and bunkering and stuff like that, but I have grown to play some of them well, so it is hard to say. I like the old style courses, that is what I like. But we are getting more and more away from those types of courses these days which I understand, I mean, a lot of old style courses you can't get all the gallery around it that you'd like. And the TPC courses that they have are very beneficial and it mostly fan favorite because you get more on them and they can have more venues points and stuff like that.

Q. Considering the way you approach this course are you at all surprised that you have played as well as you have the first two days?

SCOTT HOCH: No, not really. Just because it doesn't have any run doesn't rule me out. Like I said, I can go out there and get on the tee and try to hit it a little bit harder and not worry about the rough instead of taking a little off of it and keeping the ball in the fairway more. I can adjust to the course. But when I feel I am playing well, I figured it would be in my benefit to have more rough. But then again if I am not playing well, shoot, if you have a lot of rough and I am not playing well, you know, it is: "See you down the road on Friday, or on today." But actually yesterday if we had had rough it won't affect me so much off the tee but I hit a lot of errant shots to the greens and by not having much rough around the greens, it made getting up-and-down easy.

Q. You mentioned schedule. How many tournaments are you scheduled for this year?

SCOTT HOCH: I am hoping 23 to 25 and the better I play the less I would probably play. Well, actually I take that back. In the past that might have been the case but nowadays then sometimes I played more at the end of the year to try to reach certain levels where there is top-30 or incentives in my contract or whatever and I am not at the point now in my career just the heck with it, I will just have another week off if I don't make -- if I don't get in some of these tournaments. It is not worth grinding and the time away from your family to do that just like -- but as far as being younger that would be incentive to play more and to add more. By adding this tournament probably is asking to take out a tournament that I enjoy down the road or I am sure it will. Because actually right now I just committed for this Friday and I told them really not -- try not to announce it because it was like what I called a "soft commitment." I was committed Friday because I had to if I wanted to play. But I was going to wait and see about Houston, how I felt, talk it over with my wife, my family, and see and then after -- you know, even though I played -- I felt I played pretty well on Sunday, I didn't score very well, I just thought my game was shaping up and that I might -- I think it would be good to come here, but I wasn't sure I was going to come here until I checked the computer about the weather. I just wish on the computer it would have said: "Not much rough." (Laughter) But I am glad I am here. Because really, if I had found out that the rough was like it was I probably would not have come because I would not have thought that it would be been in my benefit to come. Probably other courses out there that would be better for my game to go to. But it works out in strange ways, so you know, maybe I get lucky this week something good can happen.

Q. What will you have to do to win here?

SCOTT HOCH: Oh, you set me up for too much of a wise-cracking answer. But I will try to reserve myself and not take it. I just -- I will have to play well. I will have to keep it, you know, hit a lot of fairways. I mean if you miss some, that is fine, you still should make par. But I got to do better irons, longer irons on par 3s. And continue to make some putts. Today I didn't make any putts really until the end or until the last nine. So you got to do that. Anywhere you play, if you win, you have to putt well. I can only think of a couple of times where I won where I didn't really have good putting weeks. I just hit it so good that it -- that it overcame not real good putting. But I don't think you can do that out here now. I think you have to really putt well. At least three of the four days to win on Tour now.

End of FastScripts....

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