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March 31, 2016

Charley Hoffman

Humble, Texas

DOUG MILNE: Charley Hoffman, thanks for joining us for a few minutes, very successful 8-under, 64 in your first round of the Shell Houston Open. If I looked at it right, you birdied half your holes today. 10th start here, never missed a cut. Just some comments about what it is about being here and your round today.

CHARLEY HOFFMAN: You know, Houston has treated me well. I remember doing an interview here nine, ten years ago with Waste Management, maybe one of my worst interviews ever. It just fits my eye well off the tee, which obviously get the ball in play and you can have some opportunities. The rough is not too long. It's nice to get the good contact on the ball from the fairway. Somehow I usually putt fairly well, I'd say when I usually putt well when I play good, most people play good, and obviously seeing the ball go in early, made a couple good 20-footers early and good momentum and able to carry it out throughout the round.

DOUG MILNE: We'll take a few questions.

Q. Charley, after that year you had last year and then for this year, has there been a reason that this year has been more of a struggle than last year where you were really, you know --
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah. Pretty easy. The tournaments I played well in the last few weeks, I've shot 3, 4-over on the back-9 on Sunday when I've been going from winning the golf tournament to 12th or 15th place. That's big positions on the PGA TOUR. Early in the year I was struggling a little bit. The putter was acting up and wasn't driving it great. You go through the walls throughout the year. All in all, I feel great about my game where it's going. Don't really worry about where I am on the FedExCup as of right now. Obviously would love to get off to a little better start. Last year I played real well in the fall. This year I didn't. I mean from the start of the year until now I've played fairly solidly. Haven't really missed the cut since the beginning of the year and just been playing pretty solid. Haven't been able to put four rounds together and hopefully I can do that this week.

Q. You mentioned you made a couple 20-footers. I'm assuming those with your low score that you were pretty much around the hole pretty much all day with your iron shots.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I hit it good. Anytime you give the PGA TOUR player a fairly soft green with not much wind, you're going to hit a lot of quality iron shots in the fairway. I was able to do that and capitalize on that. Throughout the year I haven't made as many putts as I'd like, and today I did which equates to an 8-under par. Off to a nice solid start. Hopefully keep it going.

Q. Would you say all in all, your best round of the year?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I played fairly well at the start of Doral a few weeks ago. I've been playing pretty solid golf. I haven't put it together that well on the weekend yet. And it's one of those things, you got to feel comfortable on the weekend. I haven't felt comfortable on Sunday on the back-9. Sort of -- this week, not that I don't care because I care, but got to be relaxed out there, and I was really relaxed and played well today.

Q. Obviously you got to get to the weekend first, one step at a time.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: You know what, I learned a long time ago, I entered golf tournaments to try to win them, not try to make cuts. Making cuts is a great thing, but we play the golf tournaments to win golf tournaments, not just to base a resume off of cuts. I'm going the try to put myself in contention and have a chance to win.

Q. Is there a reason why you say you hadn't felt comfortable. Is there a reason?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Whenever a golfer doesn't see putts go in the hole, it's not comfortable. I hadn't been seeing the putts go in the hole and I don't know -- my back-9s the last few weeks in Florida just weren't that good. Got into trouble off the tee a little bit here and just wasn't able to capitalize. I've been putting myself in the positions as of late. Got beat in a few matches last week. The prior weeks I was playing all right. I feel like I'm in good form. The results may not have been as good as I think they were because I've had a couple bad back-9s.

Q. Without question, today's round your best start anyplace on the Tour this year?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Well, yeah. I'm leading, so I'm going to go with it's my best round of the year.

Q. Sometimes you don't -- maybe you don't score well, you think you played well without question.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I don't really think of it -- it's a process to get to the 4th round on Sunday on the back-9 for me. I really don't think about making a putt for 63. I'm thinking about getting myself in a position to win the golf tournament. That's what I did today, was patient and gave myself a lot of opportunities. Obviously happy with the start.

Q. You said earlier you're really comfortable on this course. You played every year, mainstay since 2007. Are you still wearing the green shoes?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Green gloves today. Didn't wear the green shoes today. Not quite as much as I did in the past.

Q. Always have a strong green presence.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: My deal with Waste Management, get the word out for recycling and sustainability, and that's my goal on Thursday is to wear the gloves and keep that word of mouth and keep that going.

Q. Goes back to 2007, I think I read it, wearing the green gloves?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Middle of my second year. This tournament is where I think I announced my Waste Management deal. So that was my second year on Tour. Nine years ago. 2007 is right.

DOUG MILNE: What did you have into 8 and what did you hit?

CHARLEY HOFFMAN: 276 to the hole. I hit a solid 3-wood. Landed in the center of the green, probably through 260ish. Thought I hit a good putt and just missed right.

DOUG MILNE: All right. Charley, thanks for your time. Great playing.


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