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April 10, 2015

Charley Hoffman


MODERATOR:  Good afternoon.  I'd like to welcome Charley Hoffman back to the interview room, finished his second round with a fine 68.  He's currently 9‑under par, had five birdies today and currently alone in second place; five strokes behind our leader, Jordan Spieth, four strokes ahead of first and third.
Charley's got three Tour wins, making his second Masters appearance.
Great playing today.  Maybe you could talk a little about your round before we open it up to questions.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  Yeah, drove it good on the front nine.  Gave myself a lot of opportunities, obviously was able to convert on a few of them.
Back nine gave myself a bunch of good opportunities.  Played Amen Corner pretty good.  Had a good shot there on 12, and then the lay up on 13, was able to convert there.
Then gave myself an opportunity on 15, just didn't get up‑and‑down out of the bunker and hit a great tee shot into 16.  Hit a good putt, just didn't go in.
Then a good par on 17.  Wasn't able to get up‑and‑down on 18, but all in all very happy with the way I played.

Q.  Another great round.  I'm just curious, how much are you looking at the leaderboard, and if you are, how much are you thinking, wow, look what this guy is doing ahead of me, and I could be the story this whole time.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  I'm looking at the leaderboards because they are pretty strategically placed, right?  I mean, it's hard to miss them.
But it was nice to ‑‑ Jordan's playing great golf, so sometimes you get in the lead and you sort of maybe change your game plan a little bit.  I just kept my game plan and just kept trying to make birdies, was able to do a pretty good job of that.
And I don't think you can really press on this golf course too much out there, and I didn't, but I still was aggressive where I needed to be aggressive and took my medicine where I needed to take my medicine.

Q.  Does it seem a little surreal to shoot 135 and be five back?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  No, not at all, because we've only played 36 holes.

Q.  But I mean 135 here normally gets you‑‑
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  It's this year.  It's not any other year.  I'm just playing golf and I've only played 36 holes and we've got a lot of golf left.

Q.  You probably are almost certainly going to be in the last group tomorrow.  Does that change your approach to what you do when you go out there?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  Well, I'm hoping my kids sleep in a little bit tomorrow.  That's the first approach (laughter).
No, obviously I'm going to have a lot of time on my hands early in the morning.  Usually when I play late, I get a little practice session in in the morning.  I'm sure I'll come out a little bit earlier than my tee time, practice for a little bit and then get to my regular routine a couple hours before my tee time.

Q.  Were you a little unlucky on that chip?  Can you talk about the chip on 18?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  Yeah, I could have gone straight at the pin.  Had a fine lie, I just thought it was sort of a no‑brainer to go up and have it comeback.  I obviously misjudged it a little bit.  Hit it pretty much where I wanted to.  I wanted to try to get it up as high as it could so it would come down as far as it would.
I don't know if the green speed was a little lower or I just happened to catch a low spot or something like that.  But I did everything I wanted to do.

Q.  Do you have in your mind bogey‑free round‑‑
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  100%.  As a golfer, you always want to play a bogey‑free round.  I had that going at Augusta, which is nice, and I wasn't doing anything different.  But I definitely wanted to get that ball up‑and‑down.

Q.  When did you get over the awe factor here, because obviously you're pretty comfortable?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  The awe factor?  Well, I think any time you come on this piece of property, you're in awe.  Everybody is sort of in awe when they play.
When you get in between the ropes, it's just golf and you're trying to hit shots in a specific area on this golf course.  And so far through 36, I've been able to hit my spots, and I think that's the most important thing.

Q.  It's one thing being 9‑under after two rounds in a tournament, but being here, how special is it, and how much fun are you having just going through this?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  Yeah, well, any time you hit your spots and hit good golf shots, it's fun, doesn't matter if you're at Augusta or at home playing with your buddies.  It's been fun being able to pick out spots and being able to hit shows pots.
Like I said there's still a lot of golf left and I have to keep hitting those spots to have a chance coming in on Sunday and hopefully I can do that.

Q.  How do you prepare yourself for the added spotlight of tomorrow, the added gallery, obviously will be a very different round than Thursday morning?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  There's a ton of people out there no matter if you play at 7:45 or 3 o'clock.  The gallery, added gallery, I think they are always there no matter what.  I don't think they're going to be much different.
I'm sure dealing with the media is going to be a little different.  I'm going to have to allow a little bit of time for that.  But once you get in between the ropes, that's when I work, and it's going to be fun.

Q.  You're known for making a lot of birdies, but you can also have your blow‑up holes, too.  What's been the key this week to really‑‑
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  Haven't had a blow‑up hole (laughter).
You know, I've kept the ball in front of me and when I've gotten‑‑ the few bad drives I've hit, sort of gotten a decent break on 17 today.  I just clipped a limb and it could have gone straight left or somewhere bad and it came back in the fairway.  I've gotten a few good breaks, there's no question, which you need to win majors and win golf tournaments.
I've been able to take advantage of them and keep trying to stay smart and play good golf and be aggressive when you can.

Q.  You talked about in the past about wanting to be different a little bit with the hair and the clothes.  How much is that still a part of you?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  I guess the hair's gone, so I'm not that much different than any golfer now (laughter).  But most importantly, I just want to play good golf and give myself chances to win golf tournaments.  If it's next week or the week after; I just like getting in contention to win golf tournaments, get the feeling of the‑‑ see what you're made of inside, and I've been in the hunt the last couple weeks, which has been nice and I'm feeling comfortable out here this week and hopefully I can keep it going.

Q.  Generally speaking, when you've been in those situations, you've hung in there and you've won your share.  What is your personality like in those‑‑
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  I don't like to lose; that's my personality (laughter).  Unfortunately, you have to lose a lot in golf.
My theory inside is when you're playing good golf, keep playing good golf.  I think golf sort of is easier when you're playing good golf, because you're hitting the ball where you're looking and you're aiming and you're making putts.  It's the weeks where you don't know where it's going, those are the tough weeks.  But I feel good where my game feels and where it's going.

Q.  Ties for 11th the last two weeks in Texas and now good play here.  What's been the key to the strong play?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  Just keeping the ball in front of me, driving it all right, making putts.  I don't think there's any secret code to it.
I know I haven't played good on Saturday the last couple weeks, so hopefully Saturday is a little different.  Hopefully I play four good rounds instead of three of them out here this week.
I can't say why I played bad on Saturday the last couple weeks, but I felt comfortable, got off to a couple bad starts, bad breaks those Saturdays.  But I don't see that coming tomorrow at all, and hopefully it doesn't.

Q.  How much does being in your late 30s help make up for this being only your second Masters?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  I mean, I wish it wasn't only my second Masters, but obviously I'm a little more mature than I was the first time around or even the young golfers that are playing now.
This golf course, everybody sees it.  They change it up every once in awhile, but you sort of know how to play because you've watched it and I think that's what's so great about this golf tournament is everybody sort of knows how the ball rolls when it gets to a certain spot and where you need to be.  There's definitely a certain mystique about it and hopefully I keep going.

Q.  Just to follow up on the answer earlier about your look, why did you change it?  Why did you cut the hair?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  Well, my hair stopped growing on top like it used to, I guess as you would know (laughter).
So it wasn't that great a look anymore to be honest with you (laughter).

Q.  After the first round, I saw you at the practice green, practice fairway; what were you trying to iron out?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  You saw me in the practice fairway after the first round?  To be honest with you, decompose a little bit.  My short game instructor, James Sieckmann, was in town and he just wanted to double‑check a few things and make sure everything was good.  It's more just sort of decompose and hit some shots and make sure everything feels good.
I wanted to iron out driver a little bit and I think I did.  It felt good all day.  I was doing a few things, I checked out a few things after the round and it felt good going into today and hopefully I'll probably do a little bit of the same today.
MODERATOR:  Well, Charley, we wish you all the best.  Great playing.

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