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June 22, 2002

Scott Hoch


JOHN BUSH: We would like to thank Scott Hoch for coming by the interview room. Scott, 11-under par for the tournament, just 2-off the lead. Some comments on your round today?

SCOTT HOCH: Should be leading, but threw away some shots at the end. Actually, I made a double bogey when the best shot I hit got me in trouble, just misjudged the wind there and got in a bad position. And things snowballed from there. Doubled 15, drove it on 16 and drove it a little thin and it went right on me, hit it in the rough and bounced in the water. So without those few errant shots, I'd be a little better off, but I think after each shot I was able to come back with a birdie, so the sting wasn't too bad. And I guess that's one of the keys to my tournament. I've been over par 6 holes this tournament, and I've birdied the next hole each time.

JOHN BUSH: Can you take us through your round starting with the birdies on No. 1 and No. 2?

SCOTT HOCH: I hit it close with an 8-iron on No. 1 and I guess to about 3 feet on 2 also, and I hit it close on 3 and made a bad putt. Let's see.

JOHN BUSH: Number 7?

SCOTT HOCH: Oh, but then we get to 6, the par 5. I hit a good shot in there to 5 or 6 feet too, and the two putts I missed, I told you on 3 and 5 were easy putts, and I missed them, so, I really could have had something going made that for birdie. Made a key up-and-down for bogey on 8 because I hit it a little fat off the tee and hit it in the water, so I got up-and-down for bogey.

And then, birdied 9 out of the right sandtrap off the tee, so, I hit a wedge in there about 12 feet past the hole and made that for birdie.

And then 12, I hit a sand wedge about 6 feet, made that for birdie.

And 13, the par 5, I hit a driver, 6-iron, never seen it play that short. And I wasn't trying to hit the green there because if I would have landed on the green, the ball would have rolled to the back and it would have been a tough 2-putt. So, I played it off to the right and I just missed the green barely to the right and I putted up that slope and made that for a birdie.

Made a double bogey on 15, birdied 16 from about 20, 25 feet and then I birdied 17 from it about four feet.

JOHN BUSH: What did you hit into 16, Scott?

SCOTT HOCH: 16, I hit an 8-iron and 18, I hit a 5-iron iron.

Q. What was the shot you thought was --

SCOTT HOCH: Well, that hole sucks for me anyway and I just don't like it, especially in the wind because there's really no good place for me -- the way I like to play it, the yardage I like to have, it doesn't give me much of an opening. So by hitting driver, I'm putting all kinds of trouble in play, so I'm -- I'm making the smart shot, but yet it's still -- I mean, unless you lay way back, then it's still a tough lay-up.

And I hit a 3-iron, expecting the wind to be into us left-to-right, and I hit it and I thought it would be perfect, the wind would move it over perfect, and it didn't. It hit and bounced into the bunker. Then I had to hit it high to get it up and out of the bunker and yet on the green, and I hit it a little heavy.

That's where I did poorly. I was trying to hit a chip-and-run and I didn't carry it far enough and didn't get it up the hill and then I 3-putted. Otherwise it looked like a nice Pro Am hole.

And then 17, like I said earlier, I did just what I'm trying to keep from doing lately. I guess I moved and came up on it and hit it thin. So hit it, bounced on dry land and went into the water. That's the way things were going. I had a drop, I dropped it, the ball bounced an odd way and I dropped it in a divot. It went against the hill, it went up the hill and got in an old divot. I made a poor swing at it and had to get it up-and-down for bogey. But I hit a good shot to make up for it on 18, so still in it.

Q. Is this all because as much experience as you had out here that you're able to weather, you know, the bad breaks and come right back and do something about it?

SCOTT HOCH: No. I was just pissed off as anybody at those shots.

Q. Well, I mean, it still takes a degree of patience, doesn't it, instead of just reacting in a bad way?

SCOTT HOCH: Well, you're in contention. You're not going to throw it away. You're not going to go ballistic because you hit a bad shot or got a bad break. If you're in the middle of the pack, yeah, you might. Each time I said, "well, you screwed up, let's see if we can get it back. Let's hit a couple good shots and then build from there." There's no secret to it. It's just trying to do it and this time I was able to do it. Lots of times you can't bring yourself to do it or you can't get yourself to do it.

Q. Could you sort of assess your year? You've had at least 4 solid top 10 finishes and this looks like it would be --

SCOTT HOCH: There's nothing sure about it. You're playing golf.

Q. Looks good for a good finish. How would you describe the year?

SCOTT HOCH: Up and down. I was off the better part of 2 months because of injuries.

Q. Right.

SCOTT HOCH: You know, I don't usually start out -- I don't do much on the West Coast. I don't do that so I'm eliminating my play on the West Coast because I don't ever seem to do much there. And then I played Bay Hill and TPC, which is usually a good string that I have, and right after that is when I had a problem, and that's usually a good stretch of tournaments for me. The 7 tournaments I missed or whatever are really like 5 of my better tournaments record-wise as far as that I play well consistently.

So I hated missing that, but when I've played and I've been healthy, I've played well. That's how I'd characterize the year. Or if I haven't played well, I've scored well, which is more important that be the other, I guess. I'm still hanging in there. Hopefully, I've got a good round left in me tomorrow. If not, then we go -- we take a week off and hopefully play well and defend my title at the Western.

JOHN BUSH: Time for a couple more questions.

Q. Do you have an idea of what score you're have to shoot to be in contention?

SCOTT HOCH: It's going to have to be a good score. I don't ever put a score on it. I just try to go out and get a good start because if you're too far behind going into the back 9, it makes it a little difficult. So if you can start off well, maybe put on a little heat, then your chances are better. So I'm just going to go out there and try to get started like I did today and just not make any errors because obviously he shot -- what did Jonathan shoot, 5 under? He's playing well, playing consistent every round. If he does the same, it's going to be difficult, but hopefully I'll make enough birdies to have a good round. Just can't make any mistakes.

JOHN BUSH: Thanks, Scott, thanks a lot. Good luck tomorrow.

End of FastScripts....

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