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February 23, 2010

Charley Hoffman


DOUG MILNE: Charley, thanks for joining us for a few minutes here at the newly named Waste Management Phoenix Open, obviously a tournament near and dear to your heart. You almost pulled off the victory last year, lost in the playoff, and certainly your ties to Waste Management, if you could just -- just some thoughts on the tournament this week, how you're playing, how you're feeling, and your relationship with Waste Management.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah, last year -- I mean, obviously Waste Management has a big presence here in the Valley, one of their headquarters or regional offices. Last year we did a lot of entertaining with clients that Waste Management brought over. It was fun. We did some dinners. Obviously that paid off for the PGA TOUR and everybody, the players, to have Waste Management a sponsor here in the Valley. What a better place than the Valley of the Sun for Waste Management and their solar compactors out they're bringing out this week.
It's just a great company to be a part of, and hopefully I'll be able to continue the good play that I had last year.
DOUG MILNE: What are some of the perks that sold you on the relationship? Obviously it's a natural fit with the outdoor setting, golf, of course, and so forth. Just some of your observations, part of what makes that attachment to golf.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I mean, just get to think green out there with all these fans out there, all the people having fun. I mean, Phoenix is a great area and a great place to have fun. People consume a lot of drinks. I mean, you obviously have a lot of trash which you can turn the plastic balls into recycling, which makes Waste Management a perfect fit for the PGA TOUR for this event.
DOUG MILNE: We'll take a few questions.

Q. In forming your partnership with them, have you always been an environmentally conscious person? Is that kind of how the relationship happened?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Growing up in California I wouldn't say we're more conscious about the environment in California than anywhere else, because that's a little bit hypocritical.
I was always aware of the environment. I'm only 33, so ever since I've been around, we've always been thinking about the environment and we want to leave the environment in a better place than we came onto it with.

Q. Because of the crowds here, enormity, they announced 164,000 last year on Saturday. Is there any tournament -- is this different than any other tournament you play?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: It definitely is. I hope it's over 200,000 this year. First of all, we're not against the Super Bowl, and the weather hopefully is going to hold off and be good over the weekend. This is one of the funnest events I come and play, and the crowd's cheering you on, or not cheering you on in some cases.
It's a fun place to play golf, and I love coming here and representing Waste Management and their golf tournament.

Q. Do you find, you know, golfers want quiet and they complain about camera clicks? I mean, do the players who come here just say, This is the way it is? I'm going to have a good time and ignore all of the distractions?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Well, back to the thing I think you learn, you can focus on like if there's one person moving behind the green you can focus on that one person. If there's 50,000 people, you can't focus on anything so it doesn't bother you. It's just like if everybody's talking, it doesn't bother you.
Obviously I think it would probably be easier on 16 if everybody kept talking instead of the Thunderbirds trying to get everybody quiet. You know what you're walking into when you go into the stadium on 16. It's fun, and you just hope you hit the green so you don't get booed.

Q. How would you describe this tournament, this atmosphere?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I think it's great. I wish -- I mean, obviously I wish the fans and the sponsors were like this every week. I wish they could do the corporate entertaining that Waste Management does and many other local companies do here in Phoenix, and I wish we could get every town, city behind this event like the Thunderbirds do.

Q. You came close last year. Have you always felt like this is a course that you could play particularly well?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I wouldn't say that. The first year I played here I think I missed the cut, so obviously I wouldn't say it was a course that I initially fell in love with, but most TPCs I've done pretty well on. They're usually pretty generous off the tee, give you some room to hit it, and then a little bit of -- the greens are usually smaller with runoff areas.
It's a pretty traditionally design TPCs have. I've always played pretty well on TPCs in the past, so I guess, to answer your question, I do have a fondness to TPC golf courses originally, I guess, not this one in general.

Q. Looks like the last couple of events you've picked up the pace a little bit. Where is your game right now?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: It feels good. I played four weeks in a row, made two cuts, finished in the 30s, not that great, building some momentum. Got in a couple of bad ruts in the beginning of the year and worked those out, and now I'm ready to go for the gold, I guess.

Q. When you won the whole -- I think it was three years ago, three or four --
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah, three, four.

Q. -- your hair become became a big subject. I remember you talking about people kidding back and forth. You haven't changed it. You're not going to change it, I assume. Do you get much static about your hair or questions where now people know when they see you that that's Charley Hoffman and leave him alone?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: It's sort of turning into a trademark. I think if it actually hadn't, I probably would have cut it by now. (Laughter.)
I think it's sort of turned into a trademark, sort of sticks out. I think it's good for the sponsors. Waste Management, I stick out in a crowd of golfers that sometimes people blend in with. A lot of people wear the same Titleist hat. That's what we've done with green glove, think green, keep America beautiful, just getting word out to thousands of people.
That's what Waste Management is trying to do, get the word out to all these people that they want to recycle, reuse -- the Four Rs, here we go: Reduce, recycle, reuse, and recover. I mean, that's what they're trying to get their word out here this week and being a part of the PGA TOUR, and what a better stage than here in Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun?
DOUG MILNE: Lastly, I just wanted to ask you about -- your wife's obviously very involved with the PGA TOUR's Wives Association. This is a pretty significant week. Talk a little bit about what they're doing tomorrow and kind of how that all came about.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I'm going to ad-lib a little bit. It's Blessings in a Backpack. My wife is involved with the PGA TOUR Wives, Stacey Hoffman. Blessings in a Backpack is they can -- they give backpacks to families in need that would -- supplies, school supplies. I think there's food involved that the kids don't have.
What's the actual number of backpacks they gave out? It's an amazing amount of numbers of backpacks they give out to schools -- it's more intercity schools. I mean, it's great that our wives have the ability to impact the communities like that, and -- Hilary Duff, one of the -- national spokesperson for the program? It's great here in Phoenix to be a part of it.
DOUG MILNE: Beautiful. Anybody? Okay. Well, Charley, we always appreciate your time, and best of luck this week.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yep. Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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