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November 21, 2003

Scott Hoch

Craig Stadler


GORDON SIMPSON: Welcome, Scott Hoch. Great win today with Hal Sutton. That last hole, you needed that one.

SCOTT HOCH: Yes, we did. Obviously, if you checked the board, we didn't do much early. We just missed a couple greens. I think we went for some pins and just barely missed them. They run down the hills, run off pretty well.

We didn't do any good of getting any of those up and down. When we missed the green, I'm not sure we got any up and down. We didn't get them close enough because -- it wasn't as if we were missing putts, we weren't getting good enough putts for making par.

At the end we started playing much better.

GORDON SIMPSON: Your partner came through at the end.

SCOTT HOCH: Right. That last hole was playing tough. He nailed the drive. Still had 210 in the wind. I hit as good a 13 iron as I could have hit. Made a nice 15-footer.

The hole before, par 3, I hit a 5-iron about 10 feet, putt straight up the hill. He hit a good putt there. We felt if we could get one up there on 17, we could hold it. 18, just make a par, very tough birdie. What happened was he hit it a little easy, just broke off under the hole. We went to the last hole even.

I mean, like they said, Mason, Longmuir said, they felt they deserved to have a point, and they did. They really played well. They didn't give us -- after the 1st hole, they really didn't give us anything. We had to earn it. They were making all their putts. It took us to the very end before we started making them.


Q. At one point, I don't know how much score board watching you were doing, at one point the team was leading in five matches, the end result, is that a pretty good finish for you guys?

SCOTT HOCH: Yeah. After seeing that, I thought we did pretty good. I figured after yesterday, watching The Presidents Cup, we were up in five, down in one, I figured we probably ought to win all five matches. If we were down in five, we should come back and win in five. That's pretty much what the other international team did yesterday.

But we came back. Obviously, most people would have figured that we should have won; it shouldn't have been that close. But they played tough. That's the way this format is. If you get one guy off, he's hitting some errant shots, not making any putts, you can't hide 'em. The other person can only carry him so much on the alternate shot. Anything can happen in this format.

From what I heard, some of the other teams did quite well, had some really good scores. As a matter of fact, I heard that, who was it, Smyth and Davis, they were like 5-under last nine holes, alternate shot. That's some good stuff in this. It's not easy to birdie these holes. Didn't have much wind today, but still it's tough to get it close to the pin.

Q. Only one set of red numbers up there, five out of the six matches.

SCOTT HOCH: Right. It wasn't looking good at all early. We noticed it. We kept saying, "Well, we need to turn this around to get some more red for us because we're supposed to." We weren't able to do it. The other team wouldn't let us do it. It's only at the very end we were able to catch up and go ahead.

Q. I've been suggesting they might do well to declare this the permanent home of this event. What do you think about that?

SCOTT HOCH: Well, from a player's standpoint, I've talked to some of the UBS people, I think they'd be pretty happy with it here. I can't imagine a better spot than this, when you take everything into consideration that I know about when it comes to doing this.

It's probably good for you guys, too, as far as the setup. Looks like it's a pretty nice little setup they have for you. As far as accommodations, the golf course, how they're treating us here, I can't imagine it being any better anywhere else.

It's a great spot.

Q. The weather can be a bit fractious as you found out last year.

SCOTT HOCH: Last year on Sunday was absolutely the worst day I've ever had to play golf in in my life.

GORDON SIMPSON: Worse than Scotland?

SCOTT HOCH: I wouldn't even tee it up over there if it was like that.

Q. It could get cold in Scotland.

SCOTT HOCH: It was the coldest, windiest, rainiest day I ever played in.

GORDON SIMPSON: We're joined now by Craig Stadler. Craig, you guys pulled that one out with some great birdies in the last four holes, three birdies, I think.

CRAIG STADLER: We birdied 14, 15, 17.

GORDON SIMPSON: Tell us a little bit about the match today.

CRAIG STADLER: It was good. We got off good. We won one and two. They won three of the next four to go one up. Kind of kept going from there. Just having a lot of holes, couple missed putts. Mark missed some putts, a couple putts that were makable.

10 was kind of a turning point in our match. We were one down. Woosie hit it about four feet. Mark hit it about 30 feet short, and I made it. Kind of take a little bit of wind out of their sails. They'd been on top of us. That one certainly helped.

Then we had some good shots from there in. Mark missed a couple short putts, then he put me real close on 14. Hit it about a foot. I made about a 15-footer on 15 for us to go one up. I almost become the goat of the day, driving it in the hazard on 16. Tried to hit it right, but I didn't.

GORDON SIMPSON: Got it right on 17.

CRAIG STADLER: Actually, had to walk all the way back to the tee on 16. 3-wood, hit wedge about 12 feet. They were there with a 9-iron to the green, hit it short of the green, down the hill about 20 yards short, chipped it about 12 feet by. "Hell, if he makes this, we're going to have this hole." He just missed that putt. Didn't really matter. He hit a great shot on 17, 12 feet right of the hole, made that to go back one up.

He put me about 25, 30 feet on the last hole after they'd already come from short of the green. Lagged it up there, kind of waffled it up there about a foot short. That was that. It was a good match, though.

Q. I asked Scott this, you can give me your impression, at one point you didn't know this, but they were ahead five out of the six matches at one point. Is the result now about as good as you could hope for?

CRAIG STADLER: Yeah. You know, I think considering what it was in the middle of the day, I think we're pretty happy with the way it was. We both kind of turned our matches around. Looked like Lietzke and Fax were going to sneak back in there. Lietzke made a great putt on 18 to have their match. You know, we were down a point. It's not bad. That's very doable.

It was looking like 5-1 or five and a half half for a while there.

Q. Craig, two-part question. 20 years ago, would you have thought you would still be playing golf? Do you think now that you will be playing competitively for the next 10 years or so? What sort of plans have you got for the future?

CRAIG STADLER: Well, to truthfully answer your question, 20 years ago, thinking I'd still be playing golf in 20 years, I actually probably hoped not (laughter). Did I ever think I'd be playing this long? Never really thought of that. When I was 30, you know, I was having fun, I was playing okay, kind of looked forward to playing till about 42 or 43. A couple years later, I was 42 or 43. It just went by like that. From 45 to 50, that went by in a heartbeat, too.

I had fun playing when I was 30. I'm having a hell of a lot of fun playing now. It's very enjoyable stuff. Same thing, it's been said over and over: such a difference, such a comfort zone you're back in, going back, seeing all the faces that I started playing with 25, 30 years ago, played with throughout, I'm back playing with them. Kind of like a family reunion, so to speak.

Q. What was it you didn't want to do 20 years ago when you looked ahead to now, when you said you hoped you wouldn't be playing golf?

CRAIG STADLER: When I was back around late 20s, early 30s, I was hoping to have about $20 million in the bank by the time I was 43. That didn't quite happen (laughter). Had about a half.

You know, just kept playing. I had a stretch from probably when I was 32 to almost 40 where I didn't play very well, I didn't win, really contemplated cutting way back and playing some events, maybe looking for something else to mix and match with as far as something to do.

The only factor -- the thing that factored into the whole deal was I was exempt through '82 to '92. In '92 I won again, 10 years, I was exempt till I was 49. I didn't worry about having an exemption, being in tournaments. I won THE TOUR Championship at Pinehurst in a playoff with Russ Cochran. That was my first win in seven years on TOUR. It kind of changed the mindset a little bit after questioning yourself, debating within yourself if you really have it, if you have the heart, if you have the game to win again.

You know, once you win, it makes that second one, third one a lot easier. I've always been pretty convinced of that. I ended up winning four or five tournaments in the next four years or five years. Then I just wanted to keep playing a little bit till I got to be 50, try to be competitive, which pretty much through the end of last year I was. The first part of this year, I was not at all. Kind of went on year to year. Went by so fast once I got to 40s, won a few times, went overseas, had some fun playing some tournaments I wanted to play in. By the time I turned around, I was 45. I looked behind again, I was 48.

Never really entered into the thought process of bagging it or packing it, finding something else to do. Just kind of moved up the rungs of the ladder, so to speak.

That was a long answer for a pretty short question.

GORDON SIMPSON: Scott and Craig, well played again. Thank you very much for coming in.

End of FastScripts.

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