Dont Forget What Hoch HAS Done
Tiger Woods would come up more than a few times, as would the veteran names Hal Sutton and Tom Purtzer. You might here some stories about the old guys, too ' those players who well never get to fully compare against todays greats. Folks might tell you about Hogans ballstriking or Demarets fairway woods. Maybe Sneads too.
Youd probably hear a ditty on Nicklaus and Littler. Or Arnold. And, oh yeah, getting back to todays game, theres always Scott Hoch.
Thats right, Scott Hoch.
All in all, Hoch might be the best iron player out there. There are times when he is undisputedly the best ' times when he seems to knock down the stick with that unorthodox swing of his time after time again. I can picture it now ' weve seen it a thousand times ' Hoch steps up, gives it his patented waggle.then its up, and WHAMO!
The ball lands the green, hops a little dance, and then checks back to a beautiful little length of three feet.
You see folks, as they say these days, Scott Hoch got game.
But then he reaches the green, takes out that putter and suddenly that little three-footer doesnt seem like such a gimme. Thats when it might get a bit dicey with Scott Hoch on occasion.
As a result, over the course of his career, some have questioned this man from Raleigh, N.C. People have questioned his fortitude, questioned his heart, questioned his nerve under pressure.
Hes been the victim of rather unfriendly nicknames after a certain Masters Tournament, where he missed a short one which would have won him the Green Jacket.
Then, there was the instance in 1995 at the Shell Houston Open, when ' after playing beautiful golf for some 54 holes ' he floundered with a final round of 75 to ultimately lose to Payne Stewart in a playoff.
Hoch has only won eight times on tour, people will tell you. Hes never won a major. A guy with that kind of talent should have won 20 times by now in his career with THREE majors, they might say.
Well, maybe its true. Hoch has endured a lot of tough ones. Hes been on the other end of the stick maybe second only to Mr. Greg Norman.
Thats a distinction nobody wants to hold. It may be romantic, it may make for nice stories, but for the receiver, its got to be downright gutwrenching.
So, some would say Scott Hoch has had a disappointing career.
Me? I beg to differ.
True, Scott Hoch has won just eight times on the PGA Tour. True, he probably let his best chance at a major championship get away from him. And maybe he has not lived up to the kind of potential with which he has been blessed.
But I ask you, in golf, how many really do this side of Tiger Woods?
Not too many.
Just a few facts on Mr. Scott Hoch that you may or may not know:
Did you know that Scott Hoch has recorded 141 top-10 finishes in the 568 PGA Tour events in which hes competed?
Any idea what kind of an average THAT is? That, my friends, is an average of a top-10 finish every 4.03 times he tees it up.
And did you know that Scott Hoch has, on 14 different occasions, finished runner-up, including at that particular 89 Masters and that 95 Houston?
Furthermore, did you know that Scott Hoch has finished in third-place in PGA Tour events another 23 times?
People, these are numbers that stagger the imagination. Many pros dont even make one top-10 on the PGA Tour in their career.
Hoch? For 22 years now, hes been achieving one every four times he plays!
Not so many wins, but this is a man who has been there time after time. He is a fixture. He is exciting. He is fun to watch. Youll remember a guy like Scott Hoch. He may not be the most charismatic fellow on the course, maybe not the biggest champion of all time, but years down the road, when watching an old highlight and seeing that guy with the up-and-down swing whos right in contention for the tournament, Id bet you would know who it was immediately.
Hey, theres old Scott Hoch!
Watson back in top 40 after OWGR free fall
Bubba Watson ended his free fall in the Official World Golf Ranking with a two-shot victory Sunday at the Genesis Open.
Watson, a fixture in the top 10 in the world as recently as 13 months ago, had dropped all the way to 117th after a 2017 season in which he struggled with poor form, illness and desire.
After his third career win at Riviera, he is up to 40th.
Kevin Na rose from 95th to 65th after tying for second in Los Angeles, while Tony Finau jumped from 41st to 33rd.
Tiger Woods actually improved in the world ranking, from No. 550 to No. 544, despite a missed cut at the Genesis Open.
On the European Tour, Joost Luiten surged from 90th to 68th after his victory in Oman.
The top 10 in the world remained unchanged as the PGA Tour heads into the Florida swing: Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Hideki Matsuyama, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy.
Bubba catapults, Phil creeps up in Ryder Cup standings
Bubba Watson was an assistant on the 2016 Ryder Cup team. He doesn’t want to be driving a cart in Paris.
Watson, thanks to his victory in the Genesis Open, jumped from 60th to 10th in the latest U.S. Ryder Cup standings. The top eight after the PGA Championship qualify automatically for this year’s edition at Le Golf National in France.
Phil Mickelson moved up one spot to 11th after tying for sixth at Riviera Country Club.
Players will receive one point per dollar earned in regular events this year, with 1.5 points per dollar in majors and two points per dollar for winning a major. Here's a look at the current U.S. standings:
1. Dustin Johnson
2. Brooks Koepka
3. Justin Thomas
4. Jordan Spieth
5. Matt Kuchar
6. Brian Harman
7. Gary Woodland
8. Rickie Fowler
9. Chez Reavie
10. Bubba Watson
11. Phil Mickelson
12. Patrick Reed
On the European side, the top four players from the Ryder Cup points list will be joined by the top four qualifiers from the world points list, with captain Thomas Bjorn making four additional selections. Here's a look at the current top names:
Ryder Cup Points
1. Justin Rose
2. Tyrrell Hatton
3. Ross Fisher
4. Matthew Fitzpatrick
1. Jon Rahm
2. Tommy Fleetwood
3. Sergio Garcia
4. Rory McIlroy
Genesis Open purse payout: Bubba makes bank
Bubba Watson won the Genesis Open for a third time on Sunday, moving his career PGA Tour win total to 10. Here's a look at how the purse paid out at Riviera Country Club.
|T26||Rafael Cabrera Bello||-2||$46,996|
|T37||Charles Howell III||-1||$33,120|
|T60||Harold Varner, III||3||$15,696|
|T68||Tyrone van Aswegen||7||$14,400|
After Further Review: Haas crash strikes a chord
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On the horrifying car crash involving Bill Haas ...
I spent a lot of time this week thinking about Bill Haas. He was the passenger in a car crash that killed a member of his host family. That man, 71-year-old Mark Gibello, was a successful businessman in Pacific Palisades, Calif., and a new friend.
Haas escaped without any major injuries, but he withdrew from the Genesis Open to return home to Greenville, S.C. When he’ll return to the Tour is anyone’s guess. It could be a while, as he grapples with the many emotions after surviving that horrifying crash – seriously, check out the photos – while the man next to him did not.
The entire Haas clan is some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Wish them the best in their recovery. – Ryan Lavner
On TIger Woods' missed cut at the Genesis Open ...
After missing the cut at the Genesis Open by more than a few car lengths, Tiger Woods appeared to take his early exit in stride. Perhaps that in and of itself is a form of progress.
Years ago, a second-round 76 with a tattered back-nine scorecard would have elicited a wide range of emotions. But none of them would have been particularly tempered, or optimistic, looking ahead to his next start. At age 42, though, Woods has finally ceded that a win-or-bust mentality is no longer helpful or productive.
The road back from his latest surgery will be a winding one, mixed with both ups and downs. His return at Torrey Pines qualified as the former, while his trunk slam at Riviera certainly served as the latter. There will surely be more of both in the coming weeks and months, and Woods’ ability to stomach the rough patches could prove pivotal for his long-term prognosis. - Will Gray
On the debate over increased driving distance on the PGA Tour ...
The drumbeat is only going to get louder as the game’s best get longer. On Sunday, Bubba Watson pounded his way to his 10th PGA Tour title at the Genesis Open and the average driving distance continues to climb.
Lost in the debate over driving distances and potential fixes, none of which seem to be simple, is a beacon of sanity, Riviera Country Club’s par-4 10th hole. The 10th played just over 300 yards for the week and yet yielded almost as many bogeys (86) as birdies (87) with a 4.053 stroke average.
That ranks the 10th as the 94th toughest par 4 on Tour this season, ahead of behemoths like the 480-yard first at Waialae and 549-yard 17th at Kapalua. Maybe the game doesn’t need new rules that limit how far the golf ball goes, maybe it just needs better-designed golf holes. - Rex Hoggard
On the depth of LPGA talent coming out of South Korea ...
The South Korean pipeline to the LPGA shows no signs of drying up any time soon. Jin Young Ko, 22, won her LPGA debut as a tour member Sunday at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, and Hyejin Choi, 18, nearly won the right to claim LPGA membership there.
The former world No. 1 amateur who just turned pro finished second playing on a sponsor exemption. Sung Hyun Park, who shared Rolex Player of the Year honors with So Yeon Ryu last year, is set to make her 2018 debut this week at the Honda LPGA Thailand.
And Inbee Park is set to make her return to the LPGA in two weeks at the HSBC Women’s World Championship after missing most of last year due to injury. The LPGA continues to go through South Korea no matter where this tour goes. - Randall Mell