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June 17, 2017

Charley Hoffman

Erin, Wisconsin

Q. If anyone told you you would be 8-under after 54 holes, what would you think?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: To be completely honest I'd probably think I'd be a couple more back. The condition -- I mean it rained Wednesday night, yesterday obviously played a little harder because they firmed up a little bit. And obviously rain last night. And this course is gettable. I'm a little surprised it hasn't gone maybe a little bit lower. Like everybody says, it's hard to lead a U.S. Open, it's hard to keep making birdies out here. This golf course can jump up and get you pretty fast if you're missing fairways.

Q. On the back nine, not how you want to come in, but to finish with a birdie on 18, do you feel pretty good about the round?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah, I feel great about the round. Only really shot I'd love to have back is that short 14th hole. I think it was 14. 15th hole? Is it 15? I was trying to use that backstop and flew it a yard too far. And obviously got, all in all looking back, I wouldn't try to be that greedy and use that backstop. It led to a bogey, when I assume that was probably the easiest one on the golf course today. If I make 3 there, and go in on the last four holes, I'm right near the lead.

Q. You were playing solid golf all week long. Your thoughts tomorrow. You're in contention, for sure.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Keep hitting fairways. The key to this golf course. I mean they are generous fairways, but if you get off a little bit, you're not going to get to the green for the most part. But you can still get up and down for par. If you hit the fairways you can be aggressive in. Guys are making birdies. Doesn't matter if you have 6-iron, 7-iron, whatever in the hole, it's so soft you can make birdies. But it's forecast to be cooler and windier tomorrow. If that does happen, this course will show its teeth a little bit.

Q. Usually on the back nine at a U.S. Open on Sunday it's usually like hanging on, but given the fact that you have a couple par-5s, a drivable par-4, are you expecting fireworks?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I think you can see anything. If you try to be aggressive on the par-5s, you're going to struggle to make par. If you're aggressive, you can get there in two. Like I said, the key to this golf course is getting the ball in the fairway. It sounds easy because the fairways are big, but if you get the ball in the fairway you can be very aggressive into the greens.

Q. Do you adjust your mindset at all, because coming into a U.S. Open you're thinking it's going to be close to par, when did you think, all right, this is going to be more of a birdie-fest?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Not really, because no one's played this golf course. The practice rounds were semisoft and guys were making birdies. All along guys knew if the wind was down the mindset would be birdies. Which it has, and obviously it shows.

Q. For tomorrow, just go out there and try to go real low?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I've been hitting a lot of drivers. I've been hitting a lot of drivers. I'm going to hit a lot of drivers tomorrow. If I keep hitting fairways I'm going to be close to that lead. If I start missing fairways I probably won't.

Q. How many times were you in the fescue?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I almost hit every fairway the first 27 holes, and the back nine seemed like I didn't hit a fairway. I probably missed three or four there. Probably two or three today. So probably five or six times I've been in the fescue.

Q. (Inaudible.)
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah, front nine was all fairways. Actually all week the front nine I've hit the fairways the majority of the time. There are some tricky tee shots, even if the wind is down. You've still got to executing, even though some of the fairways are 40 yards wide, you still have to hit the fairway.

Q. Do you expect the par-4 to be drivable tomorrow?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: If I had to guess, I don't think it would be. If I had to guess. But who knows. It's not really a drivable par-4. It's a hard green to hit. So I'd say the majority of the guys laid up. I would say -- I have no idea. I haven't looked at any stats. I'm sure you can look at it on your phone. If I had to guess, more guys laid up than went for it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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