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June 24, 2001

Scott Hoch


NELSON LUIS: Scott thanks for joining us again today. Obviously another nice round, puts you right in the middle of it for tomorrow.

SCOTT HOCH: Yeah, it's getting old playing with Sergio but as long as we are in the last group then it is not so bad. Pretty impressive to watch. He had a couple really nice holeouts today. He hit a few errant shots which he hadn't done the first two days, but he came back nicely from them. But as far as my game goes, I played pretty consistent. Only fairway I missed was the last hole when I tried to kill it to have a decent shot. Get there in two. Par 5s kill me the last two days. Normally I play them very well and just hadn't capitalized them on today. First really good shot to the green had to make 8-footer for par. So it just -- par 5s haven't been mine this week.

NELSON LUIS: Let's go ahead and open it up to questions.

Q. You were out there for a long time. Over 5 and a half hours. How do you keep your concentration?

SCOTT HOCH: I don't. (Laughter). That's probably the toughest thing to do, especially since this my fifth week in a row and actually what I am just looking forward to is being done and going home. Actually my concentration is pretty good right now. My shots I really-- I felt I made one mental mistake out there today. Other than that, I was pretty much in the game, in my game the whole time and played it the way I wanted to - the way I needed to without worrying about how they were playing. Usually does get harder the older you get, that's one of the things that start to leave you, my concentration isn't as good as it used to be. But then again neither is my tempo so it kind of goes hand-and-hand.

Q. Describe your reaction to Sergio's fallout on 7 there, what you saw?

SCOTT HOCH: Well, I wasn't real pleased (laughter).

No, you know, he hit actually hit a poor tee ball for him, but hit a great shot, and I just tried to keep my mind on what I am doing right after he did that, then I rolled in about a 15-, 18-footer for birdie, that's all I could do. If he is going to make twos I can't keep up with him. But no, I thought it was a great shot. Like I said, he hit a couple really fantastic shots out there today. That was one of them. I will tell you what the crowd was pretty loud there too when that happened.

Q. Earlier in the year you were trying to win for the first time in a while. Does that make it easier, since you did that, trying to get a win? Does it make it easier?

SCOTT HOCH: Definitely makes it easier after you win, I guess you hadn't won for a while then you finally win, I have just kind have been free-rolling it since then, really not worrying about what happens. It would be nice to play that all the time but sometimes you get in a rut. You try too hard especially when things haven't been happening for you for a long time. But lately even though I haven't played well at times, I have still ended up doing, well, I guess because I really hadn't put that much pressure on myself because I don't need to because like you said I won earlier, so you know, anything on top of that would be a bonus.

Q. What do you do differently tomorrow than you did today?

SCOTT HOCH: I am going to have to shoot lower than him for a change. We keep finishing about tied after each 18, but he weaseled ahead of me today, so I am going to have to just go out there play really well. Because even if he makes mistakes, he has shown that he can come back and hit a great shot, or make an eagle, or birdie the next two holes after he makes a bogey, something like that. He has been doing that for three rounds. Very impressive. And with me, he can throw away some shots and get away with it because he knows he can come back. He makes a lot of birdies; makes a lot of goods shots, takes a lot more chances. Where with me, I can't take that many -- I can't take that many chances, or you know, I can't hit that many bad shots because it is tough for me to -- it is not as easy. The game is not as easy for me to come back and make two, three, four birdies after making a bogey. So I am just going to have to keep my mistakes down to a minimum, and then go for it when the shot is right. You go for the birdie and be a little more aggressive on the greens. It was tough, especially early, kept having long putts and the greens were so slow and bumpy that it was tough to get the ball in the hole. Number of them I had in the hole but short. I didn't have many good birdie opportunities, except for the ones I made. So I mean I did capitalize on the good shots I hit.

Q. Does it even surprise you that he tops you on 17? I mean, is that what you were talking about?

SCOTT HOCH: Yeah, I kind of looked up and the ball was sailing speedily -- it would have been sailing speedily past the hole, then hit the pin just like mine did and just kind of hung there for a minute, it fell in. It was impressive. It is not that hard a shot. Obviously I had an easier one because-- I didn't see his but I was in the first cut of rough and then didn't have much grass behind it so mine was fairly easy, just lying on 18. But you know, that's pretty impressive when I have a chance -- momentarily I was tied with him and then he goes birdies, and I know he has advantage on 18 and that's where I got hit in the fairway, I hit it hard, I just pushed it.

Q. How much does he remind you of Seve in his prime when he was scrambling like that?

SCOTT HOCH: Oh, no. He hits it much better than Seve did. He didn't miss many shots. He is the exact opposite of Seve. Sergio, I think if you check the records he is probably the best combined driver on Tour or if not the best, he is right there. And Seve never did that in a tournament, I don't think. (Laughter) So no, I mean they play different styles. No, that's why -- that's why he is a pretty strong player and he didn't play -- he didn't have too many poor rounds because of how well he drives it. He didn't put that much pressure on the rest of his game.

Q. Advantage of being a veteran guy playing with Sergio in that you know not to get caught up in some of the stuff he does, (inaudible) you seem to stay --

SCOTT HOCH: I am staying with him in my game, that's all I can do. Actually I am pretty impressed with what he has done. Lots of times he is hitting irons off the tee, he is not trying to drive too many, trying to put it -- his driver to many small areas, so he knows how to play the game. It is just what he feels comfortable with. Sometimes he is hitting irons; sometimes he is hitting drivers. When I am laying up, sometimes he is hitting driver and sometimes when I am hitting driver, he is laying up. It is just whatever -- if the hole fits right for him, or for me, you know, that dictates what we are going to do.

Q. How tough a shot was his second shot on 11?

SCOTT HOCH: Impressive. That was -- I wasn't over there but he did -- he had a clean lie and could do a lot with the ball, but yet to be able to do it and pull it off are two different things. He just hit a low hook and he hit a great shot up there, 25 feet, phenomenal shot there. That was one of the times he hit a poor shot and got out of it.

Q. Between 1997 and this year in between victories you said things weren't going well. What was going on? Was it the concentration lacking, mechanical in your swing? What was going on during that stretch between victories --

SCOTT HOCH: I wasn't very good. I mean, I didn't do what I needed to. One thing that's really helped me is that if you look back last two months I really driven it well, my stats have gone up considerably, and putting. I think coming into this I was ranked No. 1 in putting. Made sure I finished second one year on Tour, but my putting has not been too good for the last few years, and last couple of months it's come around and making a lot of goods putts for pars saving good rounds because you are making par putts. When you hit good shots I am able to convert a lot of the birdies. Nothing more frustrating hitting good shots and not converting them over and over again.

Q. You haven't played in tournaments all that much in the past, you have played probably ten years out of 20 or something. Do you like it this year? You are doing better this year than you have done at any point except in 99?

SCOTT HOCH: Well what I have done is I have changed, I have added a few tournaments to my -- dropped a few and added a few because the way the Tour has the gotten we have gone to very long ball friendly golf courses where we have had very little rough, and compared to years past. So I added Greensboro, and here because those are the two that -- that usually have the rough and as many as you know I was disappointed when I got to Greensboro, they didn't have any rough but I knew I could count on it here. When I am playing well that's to my benefit to play on courses that have rough plus I like the traditional style courses. And with this being before the Open, sometimes if I play here I am -- I'd be already worn out before I went to the Open and then when it is after the Open sometimes I am usually worn out after the Open so I don't play it that way. And my family, -- it just really -- scheduling has to do with it. This is a good course for me the way it is laid out. And the way we have the rough penalizes you if you hit poor shots.

End of FastScripts....

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