You'd think turning 50 might mellow Scott Hoch a bit, but the game's most underappreciated player still says exactly what's on his mind. Will cuddly canines and his return from injury finally soften his image? Eh, no.
I just had surgery on my left arm to repair a ruptured tendon. The arm was paralyzed for a while. I had to move my left arm with my right arm. They fixed it, and removed bone chips the size of Tic Tacs. My doctor thinks my arm could be stronger than before. I might get a few extra yards!
I hope to be back early in the year. I'm 50. I like the way Jay Haas and Loren Roberts do it, playing both tours. I think I can still compete with the young guys. I have plenty to prove.
Why would you ask me about Tiger? You're just trying to get me to say something to piss him off. All I said is that he had a better chance to break Nicklaus' (majors) record working with Butch (Harmon). Maybe he'll prove me wrong.
So many guys do and say what they're supposed to instead of what they want to. Nothing good comes from rocking the boat, even if you're right.
I should have won more. I haven't hit the shots or made the putts I needed to. I should have won at Augusta in '89. At the '87 PGA, I shot 69, the low score the last day and finished way in front of the other guys, but I messed up the last hole. The biggest chances I had, I didn't do it, so that might be what some people remember.
The media gives way too much credit to majors. I'd like to win a major just so the press wouldn't say all that crap, and the '89 Masters would be gone.
Am I a Hall of Famer? No. The Hall of Fame is for exceptional players. I've just been a good, steady player for a long time.
I don't think the fans give me as much credit as maybe I should get. If you don't have announcers or writers that promote you, then the fans aren't going to know. There are players who have gotten more TV coverage, and, fans will say, "That guy is much better than Hoch." But if you look at the record it's not even close.
CBS was always talking me down. (Former CBS golf producer) Frank Chirkinian was the biggest prick. He even told me, "I don't like you. I'm not going to show you unless I have to. Nobody wants to see you." Two people who were on headsets at the '89 Masters have told me that he said, "I can't believe I have to produce a Masters that Scott Hoch wins."
Chirkinian loved Greg Norman. I didn't have a plane for him to fly home in or a yacht to borrow, so there wasn't anything I could do to buy him. Chirkinian plays goody-goody to me when he sees me now, but that's one thing you don't forget. It affects your livelihood. (See below for Chirkinian's response.)
I once called St. Andrews the biggest piece of mess I've ever seen. I probably believe worse than that.
I played with Bob Hope, Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush (at the 1995 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic). I call it the Longest Day, because it took forever. The guys behind us were lying on their bags every hole. Bob Hope got to where he couldn't see at the end, and he kept mistaking me for George Bush.
At Hartford one year, I bogeyed 18, and one of the "fans" said something and my wife and kids were right there. It made my wife cry. That got me hot. It became a little physical, but I didn't tackle him. I was ready to hurt him, but he was drunk, so I thought better of it.
Arnie and I are both members at Bay Hill, but I don't know him that well. We're opposites. He'd be the People's Choice and I'm…not.
Chirkinian fires back
"That's so categorically untrue it boggles my mind," Frank Chirkinian says of Hoch's charges. "That's insane for him to say. My main concern at CBS was reportage, no matter who was making the news.
I never, ever said to that man, 'I don't like you.' I feel sorry for him that he thinks that way. These are total untruths.
I'm not a psychologist, but he must have an inferiority complex."
Chirkinian produced CBS golf telecasts from 1958 to 1996.