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April 3, 2008

Charley Hoffman


DOUG MILNE: Charley, thanks for coming in. Eight birdies and one bogey today in the first round of the Shell Houston Open.
Obviously the start you were looking for. Just a couple comments on the round.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Got it going early, birdied 10 and then 12 and 13, just started rolling, hit the ball good, and made a few putts in the middle of the round on 18 and 1. Little bobble on 2, 3-putt, but all in all, very solid round. Nice to see those when there hasn't been so much of that this year.
DOUG MILNE: Questions?

Q. Couple guys like you made awful lot of birdies. How was that possible today?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: If you got it in the fairway, I think the greens are fairly big and the greens are perfect. You get the ball rolling out there, and it's probably got a pretty good chance of going in the hole. Last two weeks have been about as good of greens as you can get anywhere in the world.

Q. Is it tough to play as well as you did and sit there and watch two guys shoot 9-under?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I just saw Adam shot 9-under earlier. I didn't know Johnson shot 9-under before. Obviously, it was out there. Adam did it earlier when the wind was a little calm. Then it picked up on his back-9 and hard for us on our front-9 and dropped a little bit on our back-9. Probably very comparable conditions for both of us.

Q. You say the low scores haven't been out there that much this year? What's got you on the roll here?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: The putter. If you don't get the putter rolling, you don't make birdies and usually don't make pars because you miss a few greens.

Q. What got it going?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Hard work. It's been a grind the last few weeks. They just started to fall in like they usually do, and it's nice to put a good round up.

Q. You're supposed to come up with a good story. "My grandmother gave me a tip."
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I've gotten a tip from everybody. I asked everybody on Tour for a tip. Everybody contributes to it. I was taking any advice at the time this week or last week or the week before.

Q. What's the worst tip you got?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I don't think anybody gave me any bad tips. Everybody is pretty helpful out here.

Q. When you get an awful lot of stuff like that, doesn't your brain kind of just get in overload?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I guess not. No. It's not too bad. You just always try to make yourself better all year, and obviously these guys are the best in the world, and any advice they usually give you is pretty good advice.

Q. What's does it feel like to be an established veteran out here now?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I don't know if I'm really considered a veteran by any means, but it's nice to have my card for the last three years, and hopefully one year at a time and just keep it going.

Q. Do you feel different than say your rookie year, more like belong and all that? Do you feel a sense of confidence out here?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: There's no question that belong after I won and got the sensation you belong. Last few weeks have been a struggle. That's behind me. I want to get back in contention and try to win again.

Q. Augusta on your mind?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Tell you the truth, not really. I just want to play some good golf. And if Augusta happens to fall in my lap, I'll gladly go. But right now it's just trying to take one step at a time, put some good rounds together.
DOUG MILNE: Johnson was in here a few minutes ago, and he's coming off of -- I guess he came in this week having missed the last six cuts in a row. He said he didn't feel like he was playing all that bad. You know, you're in a similar situation as far as cuts go. Is that fair to say that applies to you as well? You feel like you haven't been playing that bad?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I look at my stats every once in a while and try to see what I can improve on. I'm usually Top-20 ranked putter on Tour. I'm over 100. It's pretty clear what I need to work on. It went good today and the round went with it.

Q. What do you think you slipped? Had you been working on other things?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Golf is a funny game. Everything felt alright. You get off just a little bit, I might have -- I went home to Vegas last weekend and just got back to my normal drills I did at home, some of the little gadgets I use. Just got back the feeling comfortable with the putter in the hand. After missing a bunch of putts, it's a little bit mental and little bit you're not comfortable out there. Finally felt comfortable in the hands and the ball is going in.

Q. Do you think it was an alignment issue?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I think you need to see a couple go in to believe that they can go in. I think that's more than anything than alignment or stance or anything like that.
You can stand crooked or on your head. If the ball is going in, it's going to feel pretty good.

Q. If you would just run us through some clubs on your birdies and then the hiccup on No. 2.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Well, we'll start with 10. I hit sand wedge into 10 to about 12 feet, made that. 12, hit driver up by the green and got it up and down, made about actually about a 15-footer on that hole.
13, knocked it on in 2, 2-putter from about 25 feet. 15, knocked it on the very front of the green, very front edge, and actually a little chip and run to about 3 feet, made that. 18, made a good long putt from the right side of the green, hit a 9-iron in there. Probably about a 45-footer there.
1 was off the front right part of the green, made 15, 18-footer there. 2 hit a good shot and just 3-putted. Hit my first putt a little too hard and missed the one coming back and made some good pars, and then 7 hit an 8-iron into about 3 feet, made that. And 8, knocked it on in 2, and 2-putted from about 45 feet.

Q. Standing on your head one of the tips that you got?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: No, but if someone asked me to do it, I probably would have done it. (Laughter).
DOUG MILNE: Okay. Charley, thanks very much for coming in. We appreciate your time. Great round today. Best of luck tomorrow.

End of FastScripts

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