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June 15, 2018

Charley Hoffman

Southampton, New York

Q. Charley, let's talk about the round. You're right up there with Dustin, the two of you at the top of the leaderboard. How do you feel?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah, I mean, obviously, first of all, got a good break with the tee times. Obviously, early/late is a bit of an advantage off late/early. Was able to battle the wind and play a good solid round of golf yesterday. Didn't get too far ahead of myself today.

And obviously, the conditions were better this afternoon than it was this morning, and I was able to take advantage.

I've been hitting fairways for the most part, which is good for me. And then was able to capitalize and hit greens after that. So giving myself opportunities. You don't get really a ton of kick-ins here at Shinnecock. So opportunities from 20 to 30 feet, the percentages, the more opportunities you have, the percentages are going to go higher to make a birdie.

Q. Positive vibes going into the weekend, I would think, the way you've played the course. As you said, it wasn't as difficult maybe this afternoon as it was for the morning.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: You still got to execute. You still -- I mean, you still got to hit fairways and hit the position on the greens that you're looking for. You've still got to execute. Executed my yardages very well and gave myself opportunities.

Obviously, I don't know what the weather's going to bring tomorrow afternoon. But I'm going to just try to stick with my game plan. I'm hitting fairways first off and then give myself opportunities on the green.

Q. Is it tough staying mentally into it? Like you want to be more aggressive but you have to force yourself to play different golf?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah, you really can't be aggressive because you know the penalty if you don't pull that shot off is so high. There's not really an advantage to being aggressive out here. So it hasn't really tempted me.

A lot of center of the greens and putting -- trying to putt uphill to give yourself a decent look at it.

Q. Did you watch this morning?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Very little. I watched a little soccer, a little bit of golf. Not a ton. Obviously, I knew it was misting and a little bit of rain out there. It looked like it was playing pretty tough.

Q. Obviously, those guys had to go out, and what Dustin did, in brutal -- I wouldn't say brutal conditions, but it was pretty gusty and it was raining steadily out there. He's playing really well. He's going to be tough to catch. Do you have Dustin in your mind as your target, or is it about going out and executing?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: No, you can't play the player. First of all, Dustin plays a whole different golf game than I play. So I'm not going to play the guy. I'm just going to keep playing my game and fairways. It doesn't matter who it is. You're going to try to hit fairways. Any of us who are trying to challenge it, because if you don't hit the fairway, you're not getting to the green.

I like to know the percentage of the people that actually missed the fairway this week and got the ball to the green and stayed on the putting surfaces. Probably less than 5 percent if I had to guess. I mean, it's very low.

So you've got to keep very focused from the start, from the tee. Can't let your mind wander. Then go from there.

Q. Being in the U.S. Open, you've done it before. What does this do for you? How does it feel for you going in?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I feel great as of right now. I enjoy the challenges that golf brings, and there's going to be challenges out there tomorrow. I can't wait to see how I perform. But mentally, I feel great right now, and hopefully I'm here late on Sunday talking to you guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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