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July 8, 2001

Scott Hoch


NELSON LUIS: Scott, congratulations on a great victory. You set a tournament and course record today with your 72-hole score, so congratulations. 21-under par, 267. Obviously a great accomplishment for you.

SCOTT HOCH: Yes, it is. I wouldn't have thought that for one thing I could have shot 8-under today, Sunday conditions when this course is playing like it is, against Davis. As it turned out just against Davis, but early on, I mean, it could have been anybody. I just, gosh, I feel very fortunate. I mean, score-wise I couldn't have done much better and the thing -- it was also wild to think that it had to be 8-under to win. That's what is amazing. I don't know what the other scores were today, I mean I just looked at the leader board out there - it didn't look like anybody did a whole lot. And for us to be 8- and 6-under, I guess that's what it turned out. That's some pretty good golf right there. I know it's as good as I have got.

Q. When did this round begin to become special in your mind on the chip-in on 2 or maybe a little after that on 4 when you had to play that tough one --

SCOTT HOCH: Well, probably a lot -- I don't know if there were any turning events out there. But on 4 that was key early on, because I did drive it in the rough. I hit it and the win didn't bring it back, and it was in the rough. It wasn't that great a lie. And I hit it -- shot it out of the rough and I thought the wind was going to take it a little right, it didn't, stayed right there right on the left edge, I mean just on the edge of the green there. And the ball hit, just missed the bunker, just hit on the green and rolled kind have to the back part of the green. Gave me a 25-footer and made that for birdie. I thought that was key. From there I am going to make bogey, a good about it. To make birdie from there I thought that was something special. I mean, just -- I knew from the beginning that I had to come out and try and start fast because I felt if he started fast and I didn't, then it was over. And he started out birdieing the first two holes. Can't do much better than that. He was on. He looked really good today and actually when he was the most dangerous was when he was in the rough. Seemed like every time he hit it in the rough he birdied early on obviously on 18, he had a little bit more difficulty there. But he is such a good player, such a strong player that I knew I had to take advantage when I could. And that when we got to the par 5, no matter what I did he was going to have the advantage. And it was just, gosh, it was just back and forth like a boxing match, whatever. Just -- I chipped in. He topped me. He birdied. I'd birdie on top of him. But most of the time early on, we were birdieing the same holes so it wasn't much change over there. And then finally I birdied when he didn't and I got the honor. I would have liked to hit my irons better, to put more pressure on him. Again I didn't hit my irons very well. At least not the way the score indicated. I drove it well and I putted well. And I think another key spot when, as soon as I hit the shot on 15, my second shot, I thought the tournament was probably over for me because I thought that ball was heading a little too far right and was going to be in the edge of the trees. Then I knew I was going to be in trouble because he had birdied the two holes prior, previous to 15, and he just had an iron into the green. And I thought for sure he was going to birdie, which he did. And I was just very fortunate that the ball was hittable, and I ended up making 18-foot putt for birdie to tie him. That was key. But my thought process most of the day was if I can just stay close to him, just stay close, I mean, I kind of got caught up in the back and forth what we were doing too. That was fun. I mean I really didn't get nervous. I thought it was great. I don't know how the fans thought or how TV played it or whatever but that's -- I want to see it later. But just back and forth, but my game plan was stick with him, close as I could, just get within shouting distance and maybe he'd get tired. And hit some poor shots, I think that's what happened. The reason I thought that was -- he has been out for months with a bulging disc. And sometimes when people are out, they can still stay in shape, do a lot of stuff. But with a bulging disc, I am not sure he was able to do much to stay fit as far as conditioning and whatever. So I just felt that if I stayed with him he might get tired, especially as warm as it was today and I think that's what happened. I really believe because he didn't miss a shot hardly at all early, or you know, until 16. Then he pulled that shot and that's another time I thought I needed to be aggressive there. I hit the ball way down the fairway, just had a little 9-iron in. So at that time after 15 I just felt well, you are right in there ,just be aggressive and maybe some good things will happen. I just was thinking about it yesterday, I birdied the last four; I said there's no reason that I can't birdie a few coming in today.

Q. What is going through your head when you have a putter in your hands right now, at 23 putts today --

SCOTT HOCH: I had more than 23 putts.

Q. It says right here --

SCOTT HOCH: Well, somebody needs to -- I don't know. I was too caught up in what I was doing to add up putts. That only means I had 5, 2-putts. That doesn't seem like many.

NELSON LUIS: All those may not have been tabulated.

SCOTT HOCH: I don't know, but either way I putted well today.

Q. Seems like your confidence is -- must feel like you can't miss?

SCOTT HOCH: Oh, I know I can miss it, but I felt good and I tell you when I didn't feel good was when it got really dark out there because I had LASIKS in January and when it does get -- when it gets dark or there's not a whole lot of sunlight then my depth perception isn't very good, I don't see. So for about a few holes there, 11, 12, 13, they were all like that. Then it seemed to brighten up a little bit the last few holes. Which is easier, but it does bother my depth perception and a tough time reading the greens when it's -- or even uphill and downhill and the speed when it is not much light. But then luckily for me there was more light starting on 15 and I was able to make some good putts.

Q. What went through your mind on 18 when you saw his drive and then also, too, when you were putting, what was going through your mind?

SCOTT HOCH: Two different times then?

Q. Yes.

SCOTT HOCH: Well, I knew 18 was very key for me to drive it well. And I did. I hit a really good drive there. But I felt that I was going to because I had been driving it really well. You just feed on what you have -- you just think back on what you have been doing well and that's what I have been doing. Then he hit a high a pull draw and I said "whoa, the door is opening now," but 18, I don't like 18. 18 eats my lunch usually. And it has many times in the past. So -- and then he hit his shot, I tried to follow it and lost it but I didn't see it on the green so figured he must have gone over because I saw it take off like a rocket. I said -- I had a perfect club. I said, let's hit it on the green. I misjudged the wind. I might have let it out just a little bit but it really wasn't a poor shot. When I was trying to hit it out there with a little draw actually started out at the right side of the green and then fell to the right a little bit which I wasn't playing. Then my sand shot, I would have rather been chipping that one, but where I stood it wasn't any sand but it looked like there was sand under the ball so that's one of those that's very iffy. I -- that's the one thing that the rain did to the bunkers, it made them very inconsistent. So I was extremely lucky to guess right on that bunker shot. It was -- it was jarred too. It was right in the middle of the hole, if I had just hit it, boy, I would have loved it, boy a little bit closer. As far as my putting, I said let's just stay in the moment, don't look ahead, let's just go ahead and putt this one in because I still I had a ball mark right in front of me I fixed twice just to make sure it was all right. And then when it went in. It just felt great, because any time you win -- this is special for one thing. It's my 10th win which that sounds a hell of a lot better than 9. This is probably -- I mean, this is a very prestigious tournament to me and I think to the press and the other players. That's why they have such a good field. And to win here, this is probably my biggest tournament that I have won. And to win two in a year, especially as old as I am, that's something special. My family being here, that's always -- that's the most special. And I know my son is 17, he doesn't like to travel much now because he has got his things going on at home. And so we kind of do the one week on, one week off for him or for my kids, so they are old enough where it's not their favorite thing to come on Tour and watch dad and they get bored. So I appreciate them being out because I do play much better when they family is out.

Q. Were you looking away or watching him when he hit the tee ball at 18 and if you were watching him what did you see for him to-?

SCOTT HOCH: I just saw the results. I mean, I don't know if I was watching his swing or not but I watched the flight of the ball. I saw that. So lots of time I don't necessarily sit there and watch him go through the whole motion of swing. Maybe I turn and watch it, you know, while he is getting ready to hit it. Last time I played in New York I was playing with Sergio, I can't sit there and watch that, I had to look away and then just kind of look back, when I felt enough waggles had gone, that you know, when the ball went off. But no, everybody, I mean, I don't sit there and watch them swing because you might get caught up on how -- especially how well Davis swings and how fluid he is, and if I am looking at that then I might start thinking how can I compete with this guy as long as fluid as he is.

Q. You mentioned your age. What is the secret to playing so well at 45?

SCOTT HOCH: Knowing that the SENIOR TOUR is around the corner. (Laughter). I don't know. A lot of good things, I had an injury earlier in the year to my ankle; high ankle strain. I really hadn't gotten over it yet so it didn't start out very good. But I got to commend that the people have really helped me. My guy that -- actually I was in really good shape before I sprained my ankle playing full court basketball with an NBA player, that was one-on-one, that was rather stupid, but that's how I sprained it. But also David Leadbetter has helped me an awful lot when I didn't come back when my ankle was sufficiently healed and my hand was sufficiently strong enough to play. We worked on some things, changed some things, and obviously this ball must be pretty good that Titleist has too. So that combination, it's helped me gain a little extra yards which I think is big for me playing the par 5s. Little extra yards on the first and second, and I wasn't sold on it in the beginning. I can't fight the results of it.

Q. Course is longer than Brown Deer but similar?

SCOTT HOCH: I like old-style courses.

Q. What is it about those types of courses that suits your game so well?

SCOTT HOCH: I like old-style courses, not tricked up, not goofified (sic), and I mean I just like where you say what you have -- you stand on the tee, you know what you have to do. You have to shape your shots, you have to keep it in the fairway, this year they had a little more rough than they have had last year. As a matter of fact, the guy that sets this up is a good friend of mine. I got on him big time last year when he cut the rough the last couple of days because as many of you know I would like to play -- I just want variety out here but they were getting too many courses where we don't have much rough. And the long hitters, I mean, that favors the long hitters, and long hitter I am not. So it's to my advantage to have some rough out there and make a premium -- make it somewhat of a premium to hit the fairways. The way this course was set up, the way Milwaukee is set up, it works to my advantage if I am driving it well. And hitting it in the fairway then I should play those courses well. But I think that's one of the reasons the scores were so low early in the year, because we have gotten to where we are playing with less and less rough but they had a meeting about this because the scores are so low, and I think the Tour staff decided to start making the courses a little tougher, whether it be pins, rough, whatever. Because the scores were just getting too low.

Q. With the weather we have had, that gave us what turns out to be the lowest average total in the history of this tournament, do you think?

SCOTT HOCH: You think the course played that easy? By looking did you -- I mean, I don't know. I think two guys just kind of got in a groove. What did we start at 13-under? Is that out of line. Two guys just had it going. Certainly the rain, the little bit of rain help, it somewhat -- because the first day we played some of those holes hit good shots then bounced over the green. Almost got a little too much. Even now some of them bounce and some of them didn't so it was kind of tricky as far as deciding what the ball was going to do when it hit the green.

Q. You have never played better than this, have you, since the Masters (inaudible) nine tournament stretch?

SCOTT HOCH: Even since Greensboro, I have really played well and played with confidence which a win will do that for you especially when you hadn't won in a while. Even before that I was playing well, but I really didn't have the confidence and I wasn't finishing very well, finishing off my rounds whether it be Sunday or just finishing off any of the rounds. Yeah, it has been, like I said, I think Dave Leadbetter worked with me, we got a good consistent swing, especially driving it. And my irons are sporadic. I mean, I don't see how I shot this many under with as many poor iron shots as I hit or as few iron shots as I hit for the week. My irons have not been very good lately, but putting cures a lot of ills. When you drive it well, and can the hit some of the par 5s in two makes it a lot easier too. And your wedge game was pretty good 'til today. I had a number of opportunities to hit wedges close, which I feel like I am going to do most of the time and I didn't do it early.

Q. What is wrong with your iron-play?

SCOTT HOCH: Right, left. I mean, normally I hit it very straight.

Q. Technical thing?

SCOTT HOCH: I don't know. Gosh, if I knew, then I wouldn't be doing it. That's the great part of this game. You can be on with one part of your game and the other part is just not quite not there. That just tells me that my game is good enough that even when I think my iron game is not where I'd like to see it, that I can still compete with some of the best players. That's a good feeling.

Q. Who did you play with one-on-one and hurt your ankle against?

SCOTT HOCH: Dennis Scott. Reason was I couldn't hardly shoot over him, we were playing full court, this is our conditioning, our guy was doing conditioning drills for both of us, and so I figured after I got the rebound I was going to have to outrun him. When I planted for the layup, my shoe stuck, but my ankle didn't. I now know what a high ankle sprain is and it's not fun. It is still swollen that was in January. It's still swollen. No more basketball for me.

Q. What does the Lasix (LASIKS) do for you?

SCOTT HOCH: Makes me get up in the morning and see a clock. That's a great thing. No, my eyes weren't too good. I wore contacts before just to wake up and be able to see, for somebody that can already do that, you know, they are used to it, no big deal.

Q. Is that what they give horses?


Q. Laser.

SCOTT HOCH: Okay, yes. Now I see why you misunderstood it. He was mistaking me for a race horse. (Makes horse sound).

Q. The best dual you have ever been in?

SCOTT HOCH: Easily my duals usually consist of 70s and 71s, (laughs), if I have a dual. But no, this was very special for me to play that well against such a good player also playing well, you know, this is -- that's got to be one of my best memories in golf.

Q. Why are you playing your best golf at 45?

SCOTT HOCH: I don't know. Things are coming together. The stars are lined up. I don't know. I can't put -- I am in good shape condition-wise, golfwise, that's part of it. Then by winning earlier just freed up my mind, makes me feel more confident and success breeds success and I mean that's really the thing. Plus I mean I am hitting it good, you know, I am, I guess, swinging better, swinging more consistent even though I am not hitting my irons that good I am not hitting shots that are really getting me in trouble, driving it good. And also I wanted to -- I hope this makes it in many of the publications, but I wanted to win this one for my old teacher Dick Tiddy ,Richard Tiddy from Orlando, he just went in for very major surgery, came out of it all right, but he is in ill health and wish him well and he was in the back of my mind today and I felt he was helping me, helping me get through it, just kind of thinking of some of the things he used to tell me when he worked with me because he was my teacher, he helped me ever since I moved to Orlando, he was the head pro, he was the head pro at Bay Hill and now he was in the teaching academy, but he has been ill for some time now.

End of FastScripts....

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