Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Talking Causes Hoch Problems

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Talking Causes Hoch Problems

Article excerpt

His name is Scott Hoch, as in spoke, which was, regrettably,

bigger news yesterday at The Players Championship than the fact

that he shot a bogey-free 65 to put himself in contention.

I'd rather be writing today about how Hoch maintained his

three-month boycott on not speaking to the media, letting only

his brilliant third-round performance do the talking. It'd be so

much easier to focus on the 14 greens that he hit in regulation.

Or how taking his father Art's advice yesterday about changing

his putting stance made a world of difference.

Or why this charitable family man is the only golfer within

spitting distance of wire-to-wire leader Steve Elkington.

Or how, after missing five consecutive Players cuts and then

withdrawing after a first-round 82 in 1995, he had to be coaxed

into returning last year by PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.

Unfortunately, Hoch had to shift all those good angles to the

back page after his round by going into a long-winded

dissertation about why -- after three months of perfectly good

silence -- he chose to end his cold war with the print media.

Well, maybe end isn't the right word. The boycott could go back

into effect today, or next week, or at The Masters. It all

depends on whether Hoch feels he has been misquoted or is

subjected to misleading headlines underneath his picture on a

magazine cover. These are the media felonies that led Hoch to

enter his cone of silence, a moratorium that he graciously

lifted yesterday when he finally did something worth talking

about.

"Hey, remember," said Hoch, pointing to Lisa Buell of ASAP

Sport Reporting as he entered the interview room, "we got a

stenographer here."

After Tour officials went to the trouble of convincing Hoch in

the scoring tent to consent to an interview, it's too bad that

his coming-out party was such a stark contrast to his round. The

more Hoch talked, the more he left himself an unplayable lie. …

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