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April 13, 2011

Scott Hoch


DAVE SENKO: Scott, thanks for joining us. I know you've had a few months off. First off, maybe catch us up on the last few months.
SCOTT HOCH: It's good to join anybody, to tell you the truth. No, it's been hectic. It's just been tough. I want to play, came back after surgery about 14 months ago, I played -- I played one round of golf before I went down to Naples before I went to the tournament and finished third.
Somewhere on the back nine -- not somewhere, but, well, about six or seven holes I played after hurting myself. I hit a shot heavy, and turned out that I semi-ruptured a tendon. I was just trying to finish there, and then I tried to play next week and I just couldn't.
Then just had to take off. Didn't get any better, so they went in there, had MRIs, and found out that it was about -- well, they figure it was about 50% ruptured, and then I did something else at the house and it popped some more. It didn't pop completely, so they went in there and there was about 10% of it left, so they just took out -- that was in my wrist, so that was my fourth tendon I've lost in my left wrist.
So actually, all my surgeries and all that, they feel good. My thumb is bothering me a bit because of inactivity. When I was coming back from that surgery last year, taking the tendon out, I was getting in shape -- as you can see now or when I stand up I'm not in shape now, but I was in pretty good shape then -- I was riding a bike 15, 20 miles a day, and a car forced me ofd the road and I had to lay it down otherwise I would hit a wall.
Landed on the grass, but I broke my collarbone in two spots. I was about three weeks from coming back last year and that happened and did me in for the rest of year. This year when I came back, my thumb was bothering me. Inactivity.
When you break your collarbone you're in one of those figure eight wraps, and I couldn't do anything. So it was just frustrating. I guess I've played one tournament in the last 21, 22 months, so it's good to be back. Even though I'm not ready.
As long as I can do it and I don't hurt myself more, then I'll try. Then when I got ready to play Mississippi last week I wrenched my back. I had hurt it a while back, but it seemed to be okay, and then I wrenched it again. So couldn't do that.
So luckily I'm in good enough shape as of right now to be playing here.

Q. Sounds like you're getting them all out of the way at the same time.
SCOTT HOCH: Well, I hope so. It's no fun. The only one that certainly wants me to play more than me is my wife. She wants to get back to her routine. She's tired of me being home all the time.

Q. What gives you the confidence that you might be able to get through this tournament considering you weren't able to compete in Mississippi?
SCOTT HOCH: Well, I couldn't go there. My back was hurt. It's probably because I figured that I better putt some before I go there, and it was something that I hadn't done. I putted about 30 minutes. That night it got tight on me. I woke up the next day and it was spasming on me. That was right before the tournament started, and didn't get any better. That was Monday, and didn't even get any better through Wednesday or whatever.
Only been back hitting balls maybe a week now. I've been hitting them; I've been counting them. I mean, a while back I started hitting 20 balls a day; now I'm up to about 60. That's all I need. I never hit that many. It's more quality than quantity for me.
Right now I just do it to get loosened up, get everything going so I'm not going to hurt anything when I get out on the course.

Q. How long did you go without picking up a club, and what do you do during that down time? Literally sit on the couch?
SCOTT HOCH: That was a good bit of it. I learned how to handle my DVR pretty well. DVR'd a bunch of shows. Started watching way too much TV and enjoyed some fine wines. It cost me a lot to get this gut.
Tell you the truth, I was fine. I was in shape before I hurt my collarbone. Then I just said, Hell with it. Frustration set in, and I said, I'm going to do what I want and whatever.
I've got to play pay the price now. I've got to start taking care of that. I had lost some too before Mississippi getting in shape, and when that happened I just said, Heck with it.
Then my wife went out of town and I had a lot of good wine then with my friends. (Laughing.)

Q. When and where was the car accident, the bike accident you got into?
SCOTT HOCH: Longboat Key. We got a place down at the beach. That's what we do. We've had a place down there for a while, so we went down there. We actually spend a lot more time at beach than I thought I would. We had a good time.
My wife is glad now that -- like my friend back there said, he said the biggest decision I had when I was off was where we wanted to go eat lunch. That was always the biggest question. Wasn't dinner because she fixed dinner, but where we were going to go eat lunch.

Q. What do you remember about that accident?
SCOTT HOCH: Just riding along, and somebody did it on purpose. They beeped the horn and went like this at me, playing chicken, and I was the chicken for sure. I was going at a pretty good pace. It wasn't as if you just go over and fall over on the grass. I mean, I was going 17 miles an hour or so, I don't even know.
So I was going at a pretty good pace when I had to lay it down. I had had surgery and I protected my hand, because I went like this. What I did, I almost did it too much and landed back here, and that's why it broke couple places up front here. If I hit it straight on or this way it might not have been so bad. But when you hit it from the back up, tend to do more.
Then you just have to sit it out. Nothing you can do with a broken collarbone but wait it out. It wasn't bad enough -- I guess there are some instances where you have surgery to fix it. With mine, he said you can have surgery or not, but it's not going to fix it any quicker, just now you're going to have a bump there.

Q. Did they stop, the people?
SCOTT HOCH: No, because they caused it. Why would they do that? I mean, they knew I didn't kill myself. I landed on the grass. No, it wasn't much fun.
Then not too long ago we were at the beach and I was getting ready to start back and got stung by a stingray in my foot. Luckily that didn't last but three, four days, or a few days anyway.
It's been lots of fun these last few years.

Q. Do you think someone is trying to tell you you shouldn't be playing golf?
SCOTT HOCH: Maybe, but I'm pretty hard headed. Ask anybody -- especially my wife. If I stop I want to give up on my own terms. That's one of the reasons I want to come back. I still feel like I can play.
I hit the ball pretty well out there considering I've only played two rounds of golf coming into today, two rounds of golf in the last 14 months.

Q. Clyde Watson would run you off the road like that? I'm surprised at him.
SCOTT HOCH: I don't think it's anybody here. Might have been somebody I owe, but I don't know who I owe. (Laughing.) I would have thought it would be Thorpy, but I think he was busy.

Q. The course, the format, what are your thoughts?
SCOTT HOCH: I wanted to play Mississippi, because I did not want this to be my first tournament. I mean, this is one of the best courses we play, and a difficult one, too. I've always liked it. I think when I've played decent, I've played -- I mean, normally when I play my game I've played well here.
I had a good chance to get in the playoff one year. As a matter of fact, I went for the win, tried to chip in the last hole, and then I missed a putt to have Watson win.
But I like the course. It's a difficult one to be the first tournament back.

Q. What about the format?
SCOTT HOCH: Format? I like playing -- maybe the guys playing with me don't like the format. I don't know. No, doesn't make any difference. Just happy to be playing, and I hope I go and play and everything is fine and I can go next week. Have to see. I don't know.
I've played two rounds of golf and they were two days apart: Last Saturday and Monday and then today. So we'll see. I feel -- and I was pleased with how I hit it today. My driver, I would figure my thumb would bother me the most there. It's weak.
Obviously if you lose four tendons in your hand and your thumb is bothering you in the same hand, that wouldn't be a very good prescription to play very well. That happened over a period of time as far as the tendon, so I kind of got used to it.
I don't think I really lost in I distance. I lost a little control. But distance, as far as machines go, I'm hitting it farther than I did -- or my club head speed was farther than it was two, three years ago.
Maybe it's a different machine, but I don't see how that could happen.

Q. Did you lose grip at all?
SCOTT HOCH: No, not that I know of. Yeah, just looking forward to coming back.
DAVE SENKO: Thanks, Scott.

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