Pre-Tournament Interview with Tom Hoge

THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Tom Hoge to the interview room here at the Charles Schwab Challenge here in 2023.

Tom, thanks for joining us. Kind of a local. You live here, went to TCU. Just what's it like preparing for a tournament in your hometown?

TOM HOGE: Yeah, it's fun. It's different. I would say it's certainly changed a lot now in my ninth year on TOUR. Certainly a lot more going on this week for me.

Take a lot of pride with the tournament here in town, changing sponsors from Dean and DeLuca, a little uncertainty there with sponsors in Fort Worth stepping up one year, and Charles Schwab taking over. It's great to have this event here and excited for this week, so it's a lot of fun to get going.

THE MODERATOR: Can you describe how different it is with a tournament that's maybe outside your hometown, the extra things that you have to deal with, whether it's tickets for friends or neighbors or family. What other challenges are there when you're at home?

TOM HOGE: I mean, it's nice sleeping in your own bed first of all, but I guess you get on the road and it's a little bit easier to kind of get in the routine of tournament weeks.

I find myself doing more stuff around the house and some chores and that sort of stuff this week.

Like you said, there's a lot of friends, a lot of family here this week coming out to watch. Just that little bit of extra pressure. It's a tournament that I've been coming to since my days at TCU here just up the road. I always want to play well. Sometimes that's hard when you really want it that badly.

THE MODERATOR: How would you assess your season so far on the TOUR?

TOM HOGE: I feel like it's been really solid. Got off to a nice start in the fall. A couple of good finishes here, finished third at Century and then PLAYERS. But I would like to keep getting better each day.

The results haven't quite been there the last month or so, but just grinding it out, and hopefully it will click here this week.

Q. Feel good with your game? Have you been out on the course this week or probably when you've been home the past few weeks to have a look at the course? Have there been any changes you've seen?

TOM HOGE: I haven't been out this week. I played a couple weeks ago, though. The biggest change with the renovation coming up is the overseeded surrounds. Quite a big change, ryegrass around the greens. The ball kind of stay closer to the edges of the green instead of getting away from it here.

That's a pretty noticeable change for this one year as the renovation comes. When I played a few weeks ago, there wasn't a lot of rough. I talked to a few guys who said with the warm weather, the rough is up again.

It will be a good test. The challenge at Colonial is always getting the ball on the fairway. You get off a little of these doglegs and gauging your distance, the fly or rise on the rough is always tough. Getting it in the fairway is the name of the game here.

Q. I wanted to ask, I know you mentioned TCU and your Fort Worth ties. How much would it mean to you to win this one of all tournaments if you were able to come out on top this weekend?

TOM HOGE: It would mean a lot. This is home for me. It has been since 2007 when I came to TCU. It would be awesome.

I try to not think about that a whole lot because the last few years I've missed the cut. I've kind of taken on more responsibilities this week, and I would say a little more pressure to perform here.

Q. What is your earliest memory at Colonial, whether from TCU or even before then?

TOM HOGE: I remember watching it when Annika first played here. I had friends that were playing the TCU golf at that time. That was before I was at TCU. It was always fun to watch.

We came out a few times while I was still in school here. I remember coming home from the NCAA Tournament and coming out to watch J.J. Henry in one of the final rounds here.

It was always fun. We'd walk right down from campus and be close, so it was great.

Q. Tom, what do you make of what Michael Block did last week and the fact he has an exemption into this week?

TOM HOGE: Yeah, it was incredible. I mean, it was a brutal golf course, so to do it on that kind of a test, I think, really speaks to his game and the way that he played. That exposed every weakness he might have out there. He passed the test very well.

What a great story, and it's pretty cool to have him here in Fort Worth. Let's see if he can keep it going. He's fun for all of us to watch.

Q. Just adding to that, have you had an experience like that when you played with somebody that maybe hasn't had that exposure in that situation that you recall recently?

TOM HOGE: I can't recall anything, no.

Q. Going back to this tournament that you've had six starts here, you mentioned that getting a couple of missed cuts recently, your first event here, I think, you finished top 20. What is it that you need to do now to perform at the level that you know you can?

TOM HOGE: I feel like it's a golf course that really should suit me well. I feel like my iron game is kind of the strength of my game. To me, it comes back to hitting fairways like we talked about.

I felt like I played pretty well my first few years here. I finished 17th, I think, my first year and felt like things were rolling along pretty good and then stumbled a bit the last few years.

Try not to put too much into that, just try to get back to being me and playing golf, and away we go.

Q. I know for you guys golf is always important to be at the top 30 end of the season. You did it last year, the year before -- last year. Also, it's a Ryder Cup year. Is that in the back of your mind? You had some top threes, as you said, at some pretty big events, THE PLAYERS, the Century. Also, you and Sahith Theegala finished at the top at a big event. Does that play into it?

TOM HOGE: I don't know if it will carry a lot of impact just with the unique format that it was there, but I was on the short list for the Presidents Cup team and got the call; I wasn't picked. That was kind of motivating.

That's the beauty of this game. Whether you're Michael Block trying to get into the PGA for next year with the top 15 or whatever it might be, there's always something to play for. Top 125 to keep your cards if you're one of the young guys. Top 50 is a big number next year for the designated events to get into. Top 30 -- there's always something you're shooting for kind of next on the road and always something to keep working for.

Q. Tom, any thoughts on the conclusion of Bill Montigel's career as TCU golf coach?

TOM HOGE: What an incredible career, first of all. For a guy to be at TCU for 40 years is unbelievable. In this age of crazy college athletics where guys are moving jobs all the time, speaks to him a lot that he stuck with out here at TCU and built a great program.

It's a little bit of weird deal now. I guess I'm feeling like an old guy that my college coach has moved on. A lot of congratulations to Coach Montigel. It was an incredible run.

THE MODERATOR: We appreciate you spending some time with us. Good luck this week.

TOM HOGE: Thank you. Appreciate it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
132911-1-1041 2023-05-23 16:57:00 GMT

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