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October 5, 2007

Scott Hoch


DAVE SENKO: Scott, nice way to finish the day.
SCOTT HOCH: It was one of those days, you hit it anywhere from an inch to a foot -- and, gosh, this is one of those you could hit it just a little bit harder each time and I could have had a score. But the way I hit it didn't really indicate having a real good score. So I was fortunate actually to finish with 2-under.
But I checked on the 18th hole and the official said no, they are cutting them the same speed, or cutting them the same height they did the first three days. So it's just a guess a little moisture in the air and the sun has not come out to dry them out like yesterday afternoon. Yesterday afternoon they were really quick, and I had an outstanding touch yesterday. Today just couldn't quite get it to the hole, but I hit enough good shots and recovered from not-so-good shots to still have a good round.
DAVE SENKO: Let's go through your birdies and bogeys.
SCOTT HOCH: 3, I hit a good drive there and everybody said "good shot" until it didn't carry the bunker. Hit the top of the bunker and came back down there and didn't leave a very good lay up. I hit it, bounced right and went in the rough. So now I'm really not thinking so much getting up-and-down for par. I'm just thinking not do anything stupid to make double. So I bogeyed there.
And luckily enough I hit a real good drive on the next hole and hit a 3-wood down just off the grain in the rough and made a good chip and about a five-foot putt for birdie.
7, hit an outstanding shot, a 4-iron, hit it up there probably 15 feet past the hole, but I mean it looked good the hole way and landed just short of the hole and went past. But in the practice rounds, they roll down off that hill, and today didn't really roll down and had a little moisture on the greens or whatever.
But the crowd -- that's where we had the best crowds on 7 and they never did anything. I came to the green and said, "Gosh, you must have seen a lot of holes-in-ones today." They got a chuckle.
They said, "Well, nobody's made any birdies yet, nobody's made any putts."
I said, "Okay. You don't clap for the first shot?" And then I happened to make the next one and I turned around and they gave me a big applause, at least for what they had been doing I guess, about the only putt they saw made.
And I made a couple scramble pars on the back nine and then left another birdie putt short.
On 18, I made it from 26 feet, seven inches. They have it on the board out there, ShotLink. They have it, how long everybody's putt is. And I put my 26-foot, seven-inch stroke on it and it didn't have any extra. I thought when I hit that one, when it got about two feet from the hole I thought, man, here is another one I'm going to leave just short.

Q. What did you hit for your second?
SCOTT HOCH: I hit it in the short rough and hit a 5-iron. I had 182 to the hole and the ball came out a little soft. It's short rough here but the ball still sits down a little bit in it.

Q. Was it a surprise finishing up like that on 18 with a birdie? It's a tough hole for a lot of people.
SCOTT HOCH: It is a tough hole, it's surprising and it feels good to do it. Yesterday I made a very similar putt but shorter for par. So, I felt fortunate today and today it feels good. Because just on the hole before I had about the same putt, maybe five feet farther just died short of the hole dead in the middle.
It feels good. Some guys out there, you know, if you're hitting it good the way the greens are, they are receptive but not nearly as hard as they were yesterday. You know, we played later in the day, and I think it baked out, and I don't think they were planning for us to be playing that late with the fog.
So the greens probably got a little faster than they anticipated and a little harder in some spots. No, it's always feels good to finish on a high note. I've had too many rounds where I finished on a low note, so I know the difference.

Q. From day one to day two, have you noticed the course has gotten easier? Have you expected your adjustments on the course to be better in the next round?
SCOTT HOCH: Oh, yeah, it's real easy out there. (Laughter).
No, you just know it a little better. Yesterday I hit a few errant shots, and it showed me what I could do because yesterday I was hitting it on the edge of the rough. Some of the holes, I was missing the edge, but it helped me correct some of the lines.
And even after you play it two or three times, you pick up these little subtleties in the course. And like 12, it just makes you want to aim a little farther left. You hit a good shot, and you're in the left rough. Some of these holes there's an example, there's a lot more fairway right than you think it is.
So you just learn how to play it and maybe by Sunday I'll get it down, so I'll have a good round on Monday. (Chuckling) I'll figure it out by then.
No, it definitely played easier today. It's softer. Takes a little longer because the greens, the fairways, everything is a little softer because the sun has not come out to drive things up. Like I said, I thought the greens were slower just because they might have a little moisture on it, and the sun never burnt it off. They were slow. And it wasn't just me; I think our whole group we were a little short most of the day.
Somebody could still shoot a good score. The greens are that receptive to the shots. Still if you mis-hit some shots here, you'll pay for it. It's one of the best all-around courses I've played easily on the Champions Tour, because you've got to hit your driver good, and with the greens being so fast, you have to position your iron shots to leave good putts. And if you don't get too aggressive and hit it dead straight, you're hitting a lot of sidehill putts because you're pin-high left-to-right, and if you're behind it makes it awfully tough, too. So it's a very good test of golf. You guys have a lot of good courses up in this area.
DAVE SENKO: Thank you.

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