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December 14, 2008

Scott Hoch

Kenny Perry


JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome the champions of the 2008 Merrill Lynch Shootout, Kenny Perry and Scott Hoch. Guys, that was tremendous playing all week. Kenny, can we just get your comments on the day and the week as whole if we can.
KENNY PERRY: Well, I was excited when we finished yesterday birdie, eagle, birdie. That jumped you us to a 4-stroke lead and took a lot of pressure off today I felt like. I just felt like if we could go out and shoot 10-under plus, somebody was going to have to shoot a really abnormal score to catch us, and it probably would have to come from J.B.'s group.
Wasn't that many teams really close to us. I felt very comfortable in our situation, and I knew with a good partner we were going to be able to do whatever out there and free-wheel it.
I just felt very comfortable and very relaxed. I've been putting great all week, and I putted good again today. So, you know, I just felt comfortable we could win this thing.
JOHN BUSH: Scott, congratulations on the victory. Get you to comment on the win and also on the play of your teammate this week.
SCOTT HOCH: Well, it feels good. Two things: He's been hanging with me a long time playing in this. I mean, he could play with anybody. Anybody would love to play with him. I'm glad he chooses me to play with.
To get a win, that's great. The downside is he's most likely going to have to play with me next year. It's been great.
He's already won it. The one time I wasn't here because of surgery he goes and wins, so how do you think that made me feel? I really wanted to help him and help me win, and unfortunately I wasn't out there today. My hand on the range today just wasn't good. I didn't want to tell him. My caddie knew. I just didn't have it at all. I couldn't hit a shot. But still, that shouldn't affect wedge game and putting, and even that was that no good.
So without all that, I did nothing. I mean, it was amazing how well he played. I helped a little bit on the other days, but today he just carried me along. I should have wore my red silks today like you said, because he carried me the whole way.
He told me, he said, Look, I'm going drag you to the finish line if I have to. And I said, Hey, you better not hope that, because it's getting closer and closer to looking like that.

Q. Kenny, when did you win here with John, you actually felt kind of bad because you played with Scott so many years and were so close a few years. Was there any pressure to kind of do it for Scott?
KENNY PERRY: No, I never thought of it like that. I felt bad for him the year he does miss Johnny and I had a great week together and were able to get the win. He always reminds me of that.
SCOTT HOCH: I'm happy for him. I'm sure glad he had a chance to win, so...
KENNY PERRY: It's neat to win with a good friend and neat to share the moment. Our wives are close. It's neat to be able to -- you know, I hope the women get to come in next year and we'll have a great week together.
No matter how we do -- I told him, I don't care how we play this week, if we finish first or last, I said, We're just going to have fun. To me I feel very comfortable playing with Scott. I'm very relaxed. It's very easygoing for me. I don't feel any added pressure or I feel like I have to perform. We're just out there having a good time.
SCOTT HOCH: I guess my contribution was after a while I didn't feel good putting second, because I wasn't putting very good and he's really putting well. So I said, Look, even if I'm hitting bad putts you can at least see how it breaks because you're hitting your lines much better than I am.
So then I started putting first and he then he putted after me and he just kept on making them. I was really upset when he missed the one on the last hole. Yeah, he had been making everything and then he goes and misses on the last hole. I mean, come on.

Q. When did you guys switch putting orders? The whole week?
SCOTT HOCH: No, different format.
KENNY PERRY: Yeah. Today he started putting first the first couple holes. I was like, No, I don't like it. Because in the past he's always putted last and I putted first. But then I putted first for a few holes and he came to me ans said, Nah, that ain't working either, so we switched back.
SCOTT HOCH: The way I see it -- and I don't know of it's correct or not -- but the guy that's putting the best ought to putt second. Once he gets a chance to see the line, I mean, the way he was putting and hitting his lines, all he had to do was to see how the ball broke and to know and feel confident about how it was going to break.
That was my job. Sometimes I didn't hit a good enough putt to show him, but he still made a lot of the putts following my lead.

Q. I'm trying to remember if you had said something this season or going into the season or during the season that you're seeing the ball better. Did you have eye surgery?
KENNY PERRY: I've had Lasiks twice, and I'm wearing contacts now. No, I don't see that good. This is a Lasik lens I'm wearing. They're soft on the outside and hard in the middle because of my astigmatism.
I do see pretty good when they're in. But I've seen pretty good all year. I look at guys that are great putter and, they have great vision: Tiger Woods, Ben Crenshaw, all those guys just seem to be able to see everything in the greens. I have seen better this year, so that might be a contributing factor for why I putted so well.

Q. Were you guys a bit concerned about the middle of back nine? You parred some holes there and you I think one birdie, and I think J.B. and Boo got a couple more birdies and an eagle.
KENNY PERRY: If you can get a three- or four-shot in scramble, you know -- I felt like if we could get it to 30-under par they just couldn't catch us. That was just the mindset that I had. When we were 26- or 27-under we had some good holes coming up and I knew we could make birdies on the par-5s and just be patient and they were going to have to do something astronomical to catch us. It worked out great.
SCOTT HOCH: Even after they birdie 12 I'm figuring, well, we have six holes to go. Even if we birdie the par-5s, then they have to birdie everything or better to catch us. And we should birdie the par-5s. I mean, 14 is not a gimme. 17 is. But that was just the way I saw it.
And then J.B. hit that great shot and made eagle on 14, but Kenny hit a great shot and we made birdie. So we just stayed to our plan and -- I'll tell you, a lot of them were tough putts. Coming in, 16 we had a downhill, sidehill putt. 15, downhill, sidehill putt, and 16 we had another downhill, sidehill. He made that one. Obviously that was big.
That pretty much took any chance of -- unless we just fell on our face. Really felt confident then. But when Boo did the horse shoe on 15, if that would have gone in, then there could have been a little something there. I know I would have felt a little something.

Q. Kenny, is this a definitely career year for you?
KENNY PERRY: Oh, by far. You know, just with the Ryder Cup and to be able to win here, just the whole year has just been fun. It's been fun; it's been easy. Just seems like when you're playing well it's easy, and then you get a little off and it's like the game is impossible.
Whatever I'm doing right now, I wish I knew the formula -- I know the formula, I wish I knew the secret to why I'm playing so much better. It's a combination. I've always hit the ball okay. It's always been flat stick, and it is so much better right now. That's what's got me over the top.
SCOTT HOCH: If you think about it, it's pretty hard to believe that the team that's 101 years old won here with all these young guys. I think that might be the oldest team to probably to ever win here. I know it is now.
In the future, that might be tough. Guys might not be playing when they're 50 a little later. But that's pretty impressive. Not so much on my part because he's the one that played great, but just to think 101 combined years is pretty good to come out here and beat all these guys that are 25 to 35. Feels good. Feels good. (Laughter).

Q. Did you send your massage on the first tee like you predicted yesterday, that you were going to pump one out there and kind of intimidate J.B. and Boo, or did that not come up?
SCOTT HOCH: Well, you know what, I hit it good and it really didn't seem to bother him too much. But he did seem to be pumping, getting behind that ball, and crouching tiger, whatever. He hit some drives today.
KENNY PERRY: That boy is amazing how far he can hit it. And you know what? His ball does not roll. His ball is landing 50 yards ahead of us and jsut bites right there. It's a sight to see. I've played a lot of practice rounds with him in the past two years so I knew what was up there.
SCOTT HOCH: If I play with these guys, like here, I have no interest so play on the regular tour now. I mean, these guys, you know, Boo and Kenny, they both hit it about the same distance. But J.B., it's crazy.
And for me, out there hitting a good shot and then I'm walking, God, that a full sand wedge up there. J.B.'s ball. That's just a different game. I think I need to stay on the senior tour.

Q. Kenny, the Ryder Cup was a big motivator for you this year. You have a few seasons left on the regular tour. You don't have the same things maybe to push you. What are your thoughts on what's left?
KENNY PERRY: I've been asked that question before, and I'm just going to have to sit down in this two-week off-season I've got coming up and try to set some new goals. Really it's going to be hard for me to top what I did this year.
Hopefully I won't get complacent and flat line out there. I want to be competitive in the majors this year. I've really never -- I lost in a playoff to Mark Brooks is as close as I've had to winning a major.
To me, I'd like to play well at Augusta. I've never played well there and never had the putter to compete there. I feel like if I can continue putting the way I am -- and my iron play has always been fine and my short game is okay. Flat stick seems to always hold me back, so...
But when we play Bethpage Black that's not going to be any fun, Hazeltine, that's not going to be any fun.
SCOTT HOCH: Majors aren't supposed to be fun.
KENNY PERRY: You know what, I don't know. I would just like to be competitive in the majors this year. I'd like to win again. I'd like to try to win again. I told my wife, I said, I got to get to twenty wins somehow. I've only get 12. I gotta win eight more times, and to me that seems like something that's over the top.
But if I can kind of pick off two or three this year it might happen, but my window is kind of falling out there, too. I can still hit it and be competitive. If I can stay healthy and all, I can see myself playing deep into my 50s, 53, 54, 55. If I can continue to stay at this high level for the next four or five years, I might be able to achieve that goal.

Q. Can you talk about the Naples double?
SCOTT HOCH: Naples been very, very good to me.
KENNY PERRY: He's got the mojo doesn't he, in Naples.
SCOT HOCH: Hey, it's good sleeping in my own bed. I must say, it's good here.
KENNY PERRY: I had to put the up sleeping in that shack of his this week. It was terrible.
SCOTT HOCH: Yeah, I put him in the guest room, yeah. It worked all right. I felt bad for him last night. I didn't feed him last night, and he had to stop by Chik-Fil-A.
KENNY PERRY: I like walking into the house and it's got a 20-feet ceiling, and you're looking up and going...
SCOTT HOCH: He had Chik-Fil-A for dinner last night because I already had plans. He likes to stay in, so...
No, it was fun. Just very casual week. It's always good to stay privately at a tournament. Makes it a lot easier than when you stay at a hotel.

Q. Something that wasn't in the media guide, how much do you weigh?
SCOTT HOCH: More than is probably in the media guide.

Q. It's not in there?
SCOTT HOCH: I'm probably listed at 170. I'm probably 180.

Q. Do you have saddle spurs?
SCOTT HOCH: Check and see if he's got sores. No, now I can start on my work out.
SCOTT HOCH: It's hard to work out, because I knew if I try to do any strengthening for my hand or wrist it's going to hurt worse before it gets better. I did everything possible to be able to play this week. Last week, even Monday, do I not know if I was going to be able to.
So to even be in this position now was -- I didn't think there was a chance, and I didn't want to hold him back. I even told him I didn't know if I was going to be able to play. He said, Well, it's up to you. I'd love for you to play, but it's your call. That's kind of the way he is.
Once we started playing, he was like, I'm going to drag you.

Q. What's your schedule like? Are you going to take some time off?
SCOTT HOCH: Yeah, I'm going to have a lot time off. We have a Tournament of Champions probably third week in January, but I dont see going to Hawaii for one week, have two weeks off, and then we play here in Florida.
I'll probably just wait and see. That gives me almost two months off from now to work out and get stronger. My hand is not good now, but it's not -- it should be all right at the beginning of the year next year. I'll get a shot, a Cortisone shot. That's what I need. It's arthritic. Couple spots that bother me at the end of the year. Once I address that right before I start the new year, then I should be fine.
That's why I feel bad for Kenny. Every year for about the last four or five years, other than the year I've had surgery, I've probably been at the worst physically that I could be and still be playing. So it's hardly fair to him. He's such a good guy and still wants to play with me. He's stuck with me one more year.

Q. It's just cumulative from the season, the wrist, not like anything happened?
SCOTT HOCH: I was actually in really good shape this year. I went over and played the senior British Open and the fairways were so hard. I would hit wedges and sand wedges and couldn't take a divot. I mean, I hit down on them, and that really set my hand back for the rest of the year and it get progressively worse.
At the end of the year I was just trying to finish. Once I got finished, it wasn't that bad, it just affected my game. When my hand is weak, it affects my game. And then after taking the three weeks off and trying to come back from here, the arthritis had set in because I hadn't swung a club. It was in bad shape without getting shot, because if I get a shot then I really waste two or three months doing that.
I feel bad because I'm not physically ready to play. The therapists here were going all they can. I have got some medicated stuff they shoot into my hand. They did a tremendous job. It's just that I think my hand today reached the tipping point. It wasn't going to last much longer.

Q. You held on with one hand?
SCOTT HOCH: No, it's not that bad. But when I try to hit, I get to the top and that's when it gets me. (Laughter.) I get you. I hit some shots that I mishit so bad, and a pro can't miss shots that bad unless they're hurt. That's how I was today.
I was riding. I wanted to borrow Boo's horse that he had at the Ryder Cup. I wanted to use that one that he had coming off the tee.

Q. Eagle on 17. What did you hit?
KENNY PERRY: 5-iron.

Q. How far?
KENNY PERRY: I just told Scott to knock it on the green. I knew if he could knock it on the green I would go with one less club and be a lot more aggressive and hit a hook into that front left pin.
SCOTT HOCH: That's always easier for you to say to hit it on the green. I hadn't hit a shot in nine holes. Yeah, just go ahead and hit it on the green for me. (Laughter.)
KENNY PERRY: But you know, when he hit it on it was a beautiful shot, and freed me up. I smoke a 5-iron right in there from 228 or 220 or whatever. It rolled up there to about 12, 15 feet.

Q. Did you not bother at any point to -- were there any times when you didn't hit?
KENNY PERRY: This year I was proud of him. I didn't know he was hurting today until just now. Last year I would hit the drive and he wouldn't even hit. He would just walk on down the fairway down to the ball.
He said, you hit it first and if you hit a good one, I'm walking. I drove it good last year. But this year, shoot, he stepped up first and hit it. I was like, Wow.
SCOTT HOCH: It's not a problem that it's hurting so much, it's just that it's weak at the top. Just gives at the top. Just trying to hold on, and then I get it back there and have to regrip at the top because I just lose it. That's what happened.
JOHN BUSH: Gentlemen, that was quite a show you put on this week were congratulations.

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