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Hoch unhappy with 2003 play despite win

Scott Hoch would seem to have few complaints about his season. At age 47, he won at Doral for his 11th career victory that made him exempt until he is eligible for the Champions Tour.

Hoch doesn't see it that way.

``It's been my worst year ever,'' Hoch said after his tie for 70th in the 72-man field at the American Express Championship. ``Other people can maybe do what I've done, but I can't stand it. I expect too much of myself.''

Hoch has been a model of consistency throughout his 24-year career on the PGA Tour. He finished in the top 40 on the money list 20 times, and the only time he was outside the top 100 was the year he had shoulder surgery and missed most of the season.

This year, he has been hampered by an injury to his left hand, and went four months without making a cut.

His only good weeks were the Match Play Championship, where he ran into Tiger Woods in the quarterfinals (Woods was 7-under through 13 holes), and the Ford Championship.

His hand started hurting on the range at Doral, and Hoch nearly withdrew until a few minutes before his tee time. He wound up beating Jim Furyk in a playoff.

``I should be smart enough to know when I shouldn't be playing, but I continued to play and it put me in bad habits,'' Hoch said. ``You think it's getting better because it's not getting any worse. The times it was hurting me enough to stop, I did.''

A review of Hoch's statistics confirm the worst.

He is last among 197 players in the all-around ranking (a combination of all major statistical categories), and he isn't in the top 100 in any category except the obscure ``three-putt avoidance.'' He's tied for 62nd.

``Go look at my stats. You cannot believe how bad they are,'' Hoch said. ``I'm not in the top 100 in any category except the world ranking and the money list.''

He is 50th in the world ranking, 52nd on the money list.

Hoch is playing in Las Vegas this week but might not play again the rest of the year except for Disney -- and only because he lives in Orlando.

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