July 6, 2001
JOE CHEMYCZ: 4 under par 68 today. Good round. Talk a little bit about how you played.
SCOTT HOCH: Well, right now I am driving it probably bet -- well, not probably. I am driving it better than I have ever have. Played two rounds, only missed one fairway and that was because I tried to get a little greedy on the par 5, I hit it a little harder. So I think that's pretty much the key. Today I made some putts. Yesterday I really didn't putt very well where I would have had a better round yesterday than today. But drove it great but some of my iron shots stunk. I had 9-iron, 8-irons I was missing the green with today. These par 3s are tough to figure out. Other than the second one the other 3 par 3s, to figure out what club to hit, really tough right now.
Q. Why would you be hitting the driver so much better?
SCOTT HOCH: Just grooving it. Unfortunately very seldom happens that you groove your irons and your woods at the same time. That would be great if I can do that right now. But -- and I am hitting my driver most all the holes too so it is not as if I am, you know, I am laying up with 3-woods or irons or whatever. I am driving it quite a bit. Using it whenever I can, and hitting it very solid, moving it the way I want to. Not just hitting fairways, but hitting middle of the fairways.
Q. You said you are having trouble figuring out the other 3 par 3s is that the wind or --
SCOTT HOCH: Well, yesterday it was kind of goofy. Especially on the 6th hole that had to be really tough to hit yesterday for everybody. Still is. I don't know, these greens are tough to figure out. You are going downhill, side wind, against the wind just the wind doesn't seem to be a consistent a lot of the par 3s holes. Par 4s, par 5s seems predominantly going one way. Gosh, No. 12, always been a tough club to pull, but now, I mean, for me it has been really tough. Yesterday I hit a good shot got up in the wind came down short of the bunker. Today I hit it right where I wanted to in the middle of the green, it hits in the middle of the green, goes over the green and with the pin on the front on that right section, I couldn't putt -- I was on the back fringe, but I hit right to the middle of the green just the shot I wanted, and I couldn't putt it -- I had to chip it. Because I couldn't go at the pin because of the way the apron came out. If I putted it, I'd have to play it eight, ten feet by the hole. I had to try and chip it. That was one of my bogeys.
Q. Given how accurate you have been off the tee, how do you like your standing and your chances going into the weekend with your accuracy?
SCOTT HOCH: I feel good about it. I know -- well, if the course continues to harden up like it has been, that would be a big advantage to be able to driving it solid and hitting the fairways and stuff. But from what I gather I think they might be expecting some weather tonight or tomorrow. And then it plays more like an equalizer because the ball doesn't roll as far and you can control your -- everybody can control the driver a little bit easier. Also makes the greens softer. So the way I am playing right now, I am anticipating doing really well and I played well today but I got to hit irons -- if I am going to have a chance to win I am going to have to hit my irons better because some other parts of my game, you know, I am realistically -- I wouldn't do as well as I have been.
Q. As conditions get tougher is this that much more a difficult driving course?
SCOTT HOCH: Always is, the harder the fairways the tougher it is to hit it because you have more run-out. And by doing that you got to shape your ball, whether cut it, draw it, whatever, to the contour of the hole of the fairway. But yet when it rains then obviously the ball hits and doesn't roll as far so you don't need to worry about it releasing to the rough as much as you would right now. That's how they want the course to play I feel, is firm, have the greens firm, and the greens fast because to me that brings out the best players anyway.
Q. You played well a couple of weeks ago at the Buick, you were complaining about your hand. I was wondering if it's gotten better over the past couple of weeks? Did you get another cortisone shot?
SCOTT HOCH: No, I already had two in the last three months; not going for that anymore. I did have an MRI and another X-ray on it last week when I was home. Inconclusive, they do see something not -- well, they see a little something, but they are not too alarmed about it but they want me to come in and do a bone scan when I go back. He kind of thought it could be the beginning of a stress fracture, don't know. Still bothering me just as much as it did before. But once I loosen up, then it's not too bad but sometimes really takes me a long time to loosen up. And one thing about it is like -- it's like hitting a baseball, if you hit it on the end of bat or the handle you feel it; same with a golf club, when I hit it good and solid it doesn't bother me, but if I miss-hit it, then I feel it. But I did have it looked after because it has been bothering me a good about it lately.
Q. Which hand is it?
SCOTT HOCH: Left. But one thing the doctor said he said it could be the beginning of a stress fracture, but the bone, it's -- you know, that shows up with it would be very odd if that was what it was.
Q. Where is it?
SCOTT HOCH: It's not quite on my wrist, between the back of my hand and just short of my wrist, right in there kind of where the soft tissue is, where you feel that. Don't know when I ever did it. I just thought it was tendonitis. And you know, I thought that that would show in an MRI. They say it usually does, but nothing came up. Maybe it is just fantom pain, I don't know. But, hey, I can't complain, ever since it's bothered me I have been playing well so, maybe I want it to keep hurting, I don't know.
Q. Feel better at 7 under?
SCOTT HOCH: It always does that. You always feel better the more you are no matter what aches and pains you have.
Q. Is that one of those deals where maybe you have to concentrate and because you are conscious of possibly a little bit of an injury you have to make sure every hit is solid?
SCOTT HOCH: No, I mean once I get out there start playing the tournament I am not concerned with it at all. I don't even think about it. Sometimes it gets a little weak on me, but it really -- I had to quit Tuesday in the practice round, I took all week off and then I came back and then it was bothering me, so I skipped over in the practice round because it was bothering me. I went and got treatment with the guys here and they do help it, plus I am taking medication for it, for whatever it might be, I don't know if it helps, but I am taking it.
Q. 5th hole is the only --
SCOTT HOCH: Only fairway I have missed.
Q. Remember a couple of rounds like that recently?
SCOTT HOCH: Well, yeah, I had a couple of rounds at New York where I think I only missed one fairway in each round but it rained there and it was soft. So I mean, you had to fly it in the rough to hit it in the rough there almost. But no, with the hard fairways and like I said, I was hitting it down in about the middle of the fairways; very seldom was I even close to the rough. So it's good to get in a rut like that. (Laughter). It makes it easy and it should have meant a lower score than what I had but like I said, my irons were not very good, even my short irons, I had to get up-and-down, one missed the green with a 9-iron, which should have been a wedge. And then, gosh, one of the other holes, 17, hit a good drive there and just had a little 8-iron and couldn't hit it green with that. So it was a number of shots that I missed the green in two days with short irons from the middle of the fairway. Normally, I am going to have those in there in birdie range. Like I said, very seldom happens when you are grooving your driver and you are also grooving your irons for me that doesn't happen too often anyway.
Q. Obviously it has happened before. What do you do in a situation like that, maybe we can get something out of this too because we all know how this game works, is this something you can work out on the range or is it just a feel thing that will just come back all of a sudden with you?
SCOTT HOCH: You mean the irons?
SCOTT HOCH: Hopefully it is going to come back with feel because I haven't hit balls after rounds in two months or whatever. I can't, my hand. But I don't hardly ever hit anyway but if I have something to work on then in the past then I would go to the range and maybe work on it a little bit. But right now I really don't have the opportunity to. I don't want to -- I want to do as little as I can as little strain on my hand as I can. I think it will probably work its way out because I usually don't hit my irons as poor as I did these two days unless I am hitting -- unless I am not driving very good either then my swing is just totally off. But I will get it back.
Q. What hand and what is it called?
SCOTT HOCH: You are a little late, aren't you? We discussed this in depth earlier.
Q. You didn't save any jokes?
SCOTT HOCH: I have had a bad hand for two months - bear with me the rest of you - I had an MRI and X-rays done last week when I was home. Kind of came up inconclusive except they did see something they don't know what it was, they want me to come back for a bone scan next time I am in town. Left hand. So that is kind of where it is. I thought it was tendonitis. It's acted like tendonitis because I go, it takes me a long time before I even get out of my wedges because I just swing my wedge until my hands stops hurting, and it loosens up to where then it stops bothering me then I move onto the other clubs. But it's just taken me longer and longer to get it to where it is not painful and where it loosens up though. But I only have rest of this week then two more weeks then I am off for a while. So I will give it rest.
Q. Are you a different player in the heat, when it is hot out?
SCOTT HOCH: I love the heat. As a matter of fact it was cold this morning. I was cold. I had my sweater on, took it off, luckily it warmed up.
Q. Your body just reacts better when it is warm?
SCOTT HOCH: When you get 45 your body will react better when it is warm.
Q. That is in my rearview mirror by the way.
SCOTT HOCH: I got to throw a bone to some of the guys in the press. No, I have always liked hot weather. I mean, that is one of the reasons many of you know why I haven't done the British as often because it is very tough for me to play in cool weather and it is even tougher to play when it is really hot here, when it is nice and hot here in the States and then I have to go where it is cool. My body never has reacted favorably to the change of climate. So that was I learned -- I have learned that early on. And so I just continue to stay where it was warm.
Q. Are you looking forward to going to Lytham or is that just a contractual thing?
SCOTT HOCH: I have never played there. I was scheduled to play there -- well I have been scheduled to play there last couple of years but I was hurt two years ago and last year my company, without even asking, they gave me a pass, a free pass because they knew how much I liked that one particular course. So I didn't have to go and I was thankful. And but, no, I have only played one course over there I didn't like. So it is not the courses. I have never seen this one. I watched it on TV, I watched my buddy Lehman win on TV years ago - enjoyed that. But I don't know if it's going to play as hard and fast as I remember it on TV. Everybody tells me how good a course it is, then they tell me well, you got to hit a lot of irons off tees. I said, wait a minute, I drive the ball good so it is to my advantage if you hit driver. So when I get over there and play my practice rounds I will see how it is. And plus, I don't think it will be as cold as many of the weeks because it -- because it's in England and not Scotland.
Q. That golf course kind of suits your game.
SCOTT HOCH: Over there?
SCOTT HOCH: Hope so. That would be nice. I'd like to have one good tournament over there.
Q. Do you like the length they have added here on 13?
SCOTT HOCH: You know, I wasn't sure about it because I played in the practice round against the wind and hit wood in. That's not one -- a hole I want to be hitting wood in. But the last two days it's played fine. Today they moved the tee up and I had 7-iron. Yesterday actually yesterday it was downwind and I hit it 7-iron in there yesterday also but that was from the back tee. So I think it is good. The course is firm. If the course is soft then some of these extra -- some of those holes they put extra length on might be a bit much. Then it really favors the long hitter but with the fairways hard, you have to hit good shots to keep it in the fairway so yeah, I think it's all right. I think it's helped some of the holes. That one against the wind, I think it supposed to be against the wind today which it was a little bit and our field staff had that in mind so they moved the tee up and I hit a really good drive there too.
Q. With the length in general do you see even courses like this becoming sort of obsolete --
SCOTT HOCH: As soon as this course becomes obsolete because of yardage then they are going to have to start building all new courses everywhere. Now this is a course that has got more extra yardage that they can add to it than about any of them. Other than maybe Butler National because I remember we didn't play a lot of the back tees there either. And here we didn't play many of the back tees. Now we are. Now they are building back tees further back. So no, I think it's playing at a good length now and hey, just the way to make it play shorter is just if it was wet. Right now it is playing hard, fast, and that's why it's not playing that long to.
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