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March 17, 2017

Charley Hoffman

Orlando, Florida

Q. What a fun day this was. Bogeyed the first and then lights out. Seven birdies on the card, you birdie 18 for the second day in a row. Your thoughts on how it went?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I put the ball in play off the tee, which I think is pretty key to this golf course. If you get in the fairway, you can sort of attack. The greens are surprisingly receptive, which is nice. You can shoot at some of those pins that in the past you haven't. I was able to take advantage of it.

Q. You said after your round yesterday, I've been striking the ball well this year, if I could make some putts I would really be in good shape, and you made a lot of putts today.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I made two, probably 40 footers, which haven't been dropping in the past. And then I made the nice cleanup one for birdies on pars, which equates to a pretty solid round. I'm happy and hopefully keep it going the next two days.

Q. How different was the golf course from yesterday afternoon to this morning?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Not much. I was expecting a little bit firmer greens out there. But they're receptive. I think you'll see some low scores this afternoon also. And it's playing good and you're going to see some guys making birdies.

Q. You haven't been here since 2013. What clicked this time around, because you really played this golf course well.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I played halfway decent the first round last time I was here and I just, in the schedule, it hasn't fallen where I would like in the past. This year, I obviously, sort of went out of my way. I wasn't in Match Play and then obviously honoring Arnie is not a hard thing to come here and play.

Q. What are your memories? We talk about Arnold Palmer, you personally, what stands out?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Just he was what we all wanted to be. Great with the fans. He was the guy. Sort of paved the way for us. Me personally, I didn't spend a lot of time with him, but I just meeting him here and there, it was always an honor.

Q. That's nice to bogey and then come back with seven birdies on the day. Talk about your round.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah, the first hole was playing hard. It was a driver, 5-iron, a little bit short. I actually had a good par look at it, but it happened not to go in. I hit some solid shots and was able to make some birdies in the middle of the front nine. Back nine I played pretty well and made some good putts on the back nine and obviously closing with a birdie is always special.

Q. What is it about Bay Hill that suits your eye?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I haven't played much here in my career. It's one of those I would say it didn't suit my eye for a long time, and since the changes this is the first time I've been back in four or five years and obviously off to a good start and could be one I would add to the schedule.

Q. What would it mean to you to win this tournament this week and I think you know why I'm asking that question with Mr. Palmer.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah, obviously, what Arnie did for our game of golf as everybody knows is second to none. And to win his golf tournament would be something special. But I've got a lot of work left to do and hopefully I can do it. And unfortunately it would be a shame for him not there to greet me on the 18th like all the other past champions, but I'll take it.

Q. Everyone's got an Arnold Palmer story. Do you have a good one as far as the first time you met him?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I don't have a good Arnold Palmer story, besides just seeing him around. I remember he was always out at the Bob Hope those years. I guess my best Arnold Palmer story was when I was playing the Masters a couple years ago and Jack and Arnie and Gary Player were all warming up on the range and I was first off. And they were hitting that first tee shot and I walked up to them, which you're not supposed to do, and I had a couple flags and had them sign for my foundation and myself. And I think that, that's what I'll always remember about Arnie is hitting that first tee shot, watching that at Augusta.

Q. Seems like you were working hard on your putting earlier this week. What were you looking for and did you find it?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Putting, I mean you look at the stats, it hasn't been very good the last few years. We found a little bit of something, aim was slightly off, starting the week, so we worked hard to try to get just get the aim correct. If you don't aim right, it's hard to start the ball where you're looking. So it feels like we have got a good direction on that and go from there.

Q. Was there a certain way you were missing?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I was aiming left. So when you aim left you have to hold on to it to put it back on line or pull it. Or hit a good stroke and it would miss left. But just trying something new and obviously it's been working the first couple rounds.

Q. Was it frustrating to miss the Match Play bubble last week, would that serve as some sort of reset for you?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Obviously would love to play Match Play, but that's a long, grueling week and I was 50/50 if I was going to play this week. So I think that, all in all, it's probably a better decision to play this week than to have played Match Play and play those long grueling rounds. I got a big stretch coming up, so I obviously would love to play the World Golf Championship, but not overly disappointed.

Q. So if you had qualified, you would have skipped this week?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Unfortunately, I think I would have. But that didn't happen, so I'm here.

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