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January 23, 2007

Charley Hoffman


CHARLEY HOFFMAN: It's all good, something that comes along with it, I guess.

Q. Coming with that fame is an appearance on Rome this morning. Three days ago, Jim Rome would never have been thinking about you being on his show. You guys had a lot of fun this morning. How was that and what does it say to you about what it means to win something like this?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: First of all, I've been a long time listener to Jim Rome. That was easy because I'm familiar with his interviews and stuff like that. It's nice to actually -- I've thought about calling and just being a caller before. But it's nice for Jim to call you and ask you to be in on the show. It was good fun. We had a good time on it. It was great.

Q. If you had called five or six years ago, what would you have talked about?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I don't know, I probably would have just not known who I was, I would have been talking about one of the calls or somebody or one of the topics. He has a great show.

Q. (Inaudible.)
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I don't know if I consider myself a clone, but whenever I'm near the radio from 9 to 12 in the morning, it's definitely on.

Q. Then you are a clone, and I think Jim definitely thinks you're a clone; especially the whole thing with the assistant coach.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah, the assistant coach is a long time caller on the show.

Q. Did you play a practice round today, Charley?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: No, I'll probably go play nine holes after this. I played Monday. I played Monday on the South.

Q. You haven't seen the North at all, you haven't been over there, obviously?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: No, well, the North hasn't changed at all. It's the same golf course. I'm playing the Pro Am on it tomorrow. South course, the rough is down, but all in all not too bad.

Q. When I was in the service every guy that I met from California told me he was a surfer, and I didn't believe half of them. Could you detail your surfing experiences?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: In high school I used to go to the beach. I wouldn't consider myself a big time surfer, but my parents used to take me to the beach at least once a week, growing up there, in the summers. And definitely spent a good amount of time there. And never really got in too much of the surfing thing, but I hung out at the beach a lot.

Q. As we all know, conditions on Sunday were pretty tough with the wind. Have you always regarded yourself as a good wind player?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Ever since going to college at UNLV, I've learned how to play in the wind, because pretty much the same conditions happen in Vegas as they did here or at the Bob Hope. Our coach made us play through them just like any other coach. So I got some good experience there in college playing in pretty heavy winds. So obviously I benefitted from that and I got it done.

Q. Charley, Chris Riley was in here before you, and said that you guys play a lot in Las Vegas and you kick his butt all over the course. He wasn't surprised that you won. Can you talk about the bet you guys made, can you talk a little bit about that?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I assume it's the Top-10 in the world. It wasn't much of a bet, it was more of us being on the back of the range and I just got my Tour card and Chris was sort of saying that -- Chris saying that he could never be Top-10 in the world and me saying that I could. I hadn't even played a TOUR event yet. And he pretty much said, oh, you're not going to be Top-10 in the world. And I said, we'll see, I'm going to try and see if I can get there, that's where I want to be. And slowly stepping up in that direction.

Q. (Inaudible.)
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Well, not as close as I want to be, but definitely closer.

Q. He also said that you're the kind of guy that if somebody tells you you can't do something that you kind of go out and do exactly that. Do you agree with that?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah, I think anybody, if they say you can't do it, you're probably going to work harder to try to do it and prove them wrong. There's nothing better than proving somebody wrong when they tell you you can't do something.

Q. Even before you won last week, can you sort of articulate what's so tough about breaking through on the PGA TOUR and once you earn your card keeping it. Seems like the odds are stacked against rookies, even more so than in other sports and what that was like for you to come up to this level?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: As a rookie, the PGA TOUR, the guys have been out here forever and played the golf courses over and over again. For me I've never played the majority of the golf courses last year. So you've got to get familiar to the golf courses every week, while those older guys can take weeks off or not show up on Monday, and take a little bit more time off because they know the golf courses. And I think that's a huge advantage. And just after one year I feel a lot more comfortable. I don't have to do as much work on the golf courses as I did the first year, so I'm going to be more relaxed.

Q. Any sort of "Welcome to the Tour" moment from last year, maybe where you sort of -- you realized how much more difficult it is up here than in other levels?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: There was never really that moment. I felt pretty comfortable the whole year out there. And I think that's why I played halfway decent last year. I considered it a pretty good year for a rookie, because I think I felt comfortable and I wasn't really intimidated by anybody or never really had that moment.

Q. Talking about getting to know the courses, was it more comforting after you won to come back to a course you have played before?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Oh, there's no question. I couldn't have planned a better course, with all the stuff that is going on that usually doesn't go on. I'm familiar with the golf course. I don't need to go out and grind it out on this golf course, because I've played it so many times. It's definitely a huge advantage for me to be able to come home to this golf course and start on Thursday.

Q. Having won your first PGA TOUR title, has that changed your goals for the rest of the year?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah, start of the year one of my goal was get in The Memorial and get in all the invitational events. And winning does that. I have a pretty legitimate chance to get in The Masters, and that's probably the dream of all golfers when they turn pro is to play in The Masters. And I have a chance to do that if I keep playing good the rest of the West Coast.

Q. Chris was talking about how much difference there is between you guys in length. (Laughter.) About 40 yards or whatever it is. How much of a disadvantage is it to guys like that, like Chris? As high as Chris was and as good as he was, to week in and week out it's got to be really difficult for guys like him to make some money?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: It's also nice to make pretty much every 10-footer he looks at, too, so that's a big advantage. It's definitely not a disadvantage to hit it long out here. That's why when I was playing Nationwide, I always thought I'd be better out here, because the golf courses are bigger and it's a bigger golf course that you play, so I thought I'd have a better advantage out here. But you still have got to be able to hit it in the fairway. Chris doesn't miss any fairways, and usually putts pretty good. And believe me when I say, he's going to be back and he'll be fine with it. He's a family guy and spends a lot of time with his kids and once his kids get older he's going to do great out here, because he'll rededicate himself to the game. But I think obviously Corey Pavin winning last year, I don't know if he was the shortest player on the Tour, but you can still win not hitting it long, but it's definitely not a disadvantage hitting it long.

Q. How long have you had your hair like that, longer, and what do you think it says about you, why do you like that hairstyle?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I've had it this long for about two and a half, three years now, growing it. I guess I do it just to sort of be different than everybody else out here. Everybody sort of looks the same. Everybody dresses the same. And I try to wear different colored shirts, and just stand out a little bit. I don't like being the same as everybody else. And I'm just sort of a free spirit, playing some golf. And I guess it's just me, the way I am.

Q. (Inaudible.)
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: It's definitely not a mullet.

Q. (Inaudible.)

Q. (Inaudible.)
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: The majority of the days I have worn red, just I haven't been on TV as much as the other guy that wears red, so it's not something new.

Q. (Inaudible.)
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: After I made the eagle on 18. There wasn't really any other time of the day that -- obviously I was trying to win, I was trying to play the best golf, but I wasn't really focused on the leaderboard, wasn't really paying attention to what everybody else was doing. And not until really I was signing my score card did I ever think I had a chance to win that golf tournament.

Q. Have you got a shoe endorsement yet after Sunday?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I had one before. They haven't changed. They're just FootJoys and just a little custom order FootJoy.

Q. How old were you the first time you played here at Torrey Pines?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I was 16 the first time I played the event at Torrey Pines, the Buick Invitational. But I was probably the 13 or 14 age division, used to go play the North Course in San Diego Junior Golf.

Q. (Inaudible.)
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I made the cut when, I believe, I was 18 years old.

Q. Can you also talk about Torrey Pines and with the U.S. Open coming here it's getting harder and harder for the Joe Citizen to come and play this course. What are your thoughts on that as far as this course changing a little bit?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Well, obviously it's gotten a little more notoriety, which is a good thing. People from all around the world are going to come play. It's a beautiful golf course and San Diego, and I don't think there's a disadvantage of that. They tell all their friends from wherever they are to come and play and they come to San Diego, so I think it's a great opportunity to have the U.S. Open here and it's great for Torrey Pines. And there's still two golf courses here, so there's plenty of locals playing golf out here.

Q. Can you talk about the field this week, and considering The Open is coming here next year, did you think there might be more of say the Top-20 in the world?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I personally haven't looked at the field. But I have heard that a few guys I know, a good friend of mine, Adam Scott is not playing, I was sort of surprised about that. But I'm pretty positive next year the field will be really strong. But it's a pretty good field. Tiger is playing, Phil is playing. It's definitely not a bad field.

Q. (Inaudible.)

Q. Your low round at the South, do you remember?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Tournament-wise? 3 South or 3 Monster?

Q. Ever?

Q. (Inaudible.)
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I'm pretty sure that's 3. Yeah, that was in the tournament. Yeah, that's right. We won't talk about what I shot on the North the next day. But I shot 66.

Q. Will you take mental notes on this golf course in preparation for next year or is it too early?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: No, the golf course won't change too much. So I keep all my notes from all the previous years I've play the golf course. So I have tons of notes in my yardage books. And they'll all go towards the 2008 U.S. Open, that hopefully I'll be participating in.

Q. (Inaudible.)
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I played it yesterday. I didn't notice much of a difference. It was hard to find what they actually did. I'd like to actually know where they put it and what they did with it. And maybe they should put some more in the rough, because there wasn't much there (laughter).

Q. (Inaudible.)
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah, but I wasn't sure. I played the golf course ever since it's been done the last three or four years. I just saw a couple of bunkers changed and a couple of tee boxes bigger. I didn't really notice too much with the kikuyu, which I guess is a good thing.

Q. (Inaudible.)
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I didn't see the changes. I don't know exactly where they put it. I know they took it from other golf courses around the county, but I don't know what --

Q. You're saying you it didn't even play off kikuyu?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: There was kikuyu out there, but there's always been kikuyu out there.

Q. You just didn't see --
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I didn't see where they resodded any fairways or redid any of that, which I guess if they did, it's good, because it came in pretty good. But I didn't really see any changes.

Q. It's pretty seamless in your mind?

Q. I just heard you mention that you had a great round in the South, 66, then you went on North and didn't play as well. Why do you think that happens to guys? Because you see that happen quite a bit. Because even Tiger Woods has had trouble over on the North. Why do you think it does play somewhat tougher, even though last year was four strokes less than the South, but some guys do struggle over there?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: One, some years those North greens, if it's wet out, they're pretty hard to putt and they slope from back to front, so they're actually hard -- even though you're hitting sand wedges into the greens, it's hard to hit good shots, because how much spin you put on the ball and it comes reeling off the greens. The way I played down the North, the way I reflected about it. I spent all my time practicing on the South course, and sort of thought I'd be able to push over to North course. And the North course isn't that easy. It's still a pretty good test of golf.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Charley, thank you. Play well this week.

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