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September 6, 2010

Charley Hoffman


DOUG MILNE: We'd like to welcome the winner of the 2010 Deutsche Bank Championship, Charley Hoffman. An incredible performance today, 11 birdies en route to a final round 62, easy enough to get the job done. With the win you pick up 2,500 FedExCup points and halfway through the Playoffs move into second place.
Just some thoughts, start with the final round and then we'll move into how you're feeling as we move into next week.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah, obviously got off to the start I wanted to. Birdied 2 with a two-putt.
3, knocked it in pretty close, made a birdie there.
4, got in the front bunker of the drivable par-4, able to hit it close within two feet there.
And then 5 hit a good shot to about 12 feet, made that putt.
Unfortunately 4 I actually hit a pretty good shot in there just behind the pin, but the pin was on sort of a knob and really didn't have much of a two-putt, so I ended up three-putting there.
7, got up in front of the green in two, caddie and I debated between 3-wood and hybrid and thought the shot just short of the green was going to be a little easier short than long, so got that one within a couple feet. Made birdie there.
Pulled a 6-iron on 8 and actually gave myself a pretty good look at par and didn't hit a good putt and made a bogey there.
Then got it going on the back nine. 10, hit it pretty close around 12 feet, made that.
11, actually probably the turning point of the tournament, I hit a pretty average 4-iron, didn't think it was going to carry the bunker and landed just I guess in the rough and trickled up there and almost went in the hole, so making a 2 there, turned 4 into 2.
13, turned another pretty tough bunker shot, ended up going in.
14 was I think the crucial shot of the tournament where I blocked it way right off the tee and I think I got a fortunate bounce to stay somewhat in play and hit the shot off the cart path in the front bunker and hit a pretty good bunker shot up there to four feet and made that for par to keep everything going.
And then 15, gave myself a good putt and had about 15 feet.
And then 16, had a 7-iron in there and was just trying to aim at the middle of the green, turn it over a little bit and obviously turned it a little more than I wanted to and ended up six feet left of the hole, which wasn't really where I was aiming.
Hit a good shot on 17, had a good birdie opportunity there.
And knocked it on the fringe in two on 18, was nice to be able to two-putt that and seal the victory.

Q. First TOUR win since '07 so how big of a deal was it to finally get that monkey off your back?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I mean, the Playoffs that's what you try to do. I wasn't even close to anything for the most part starting the week or starting the Playoffs, mid-70s and just trying to advance into next week. Last week, if I missed the cut last week who knows if I'm even here. Played decent last week and just got it going this week.
My instructor Sean Callahan came out here on Friday and we worked pretty hard the last few days to get the swing so felt good under pressure, and early in the week James Sieckmann was out here helping me with my short game. I don't know if I could have done it without both those guys not out here this week, and they were a great help.

Q. You were here in '08 when Vijay ripped this place up. Just comment on duplicating that performance.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah, to tell you the truth, I didn't have any clue how many birdies I made, I just was trying to keep making birdies. I knew Jason was playing all right. I didn't really -- I did not intentionally look up at many scoreboards. I guess they weren't in many spots where I saw them. On 16 tee I saw I had a couple-shot lead after I made a birdie, and then on 17 I was trying to look and see where I stood. But I knew this stretch you could make birdies out here, and I just tried to keep the pedal to the floor.

Q. The Ryder Cup thing came up when you were in the booth with the two NBC guys. Have you had any open communication with Pavin at all, texts or anything to indicate that he even notices you have a pulse?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I don't think I really have a pulse, but ironically I was sitting with Paul Goydos early this week, and I said something, I go, hey, Paul, do you have any influence on the captain's pick, just joking with Paul being myself, and he goes, well, yeah. I go, well, put a good word in for me. He goes, well, you go out and win, you're going to be on the short list. So guess what, Paul, I went out and won, and hopefully I'm on the real short list of the guys that play.

Q. Do you think you should be picked? Stewart Cink was saying earlier that unless you were in the hunt coming into this tournament, he didn't think you probably would be picked.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Let's put it this way: Would I be honored to play on the Ryder Cup team? There's no question. I'd love to play. I think I'd help that team. If I don't get picked, there's not a bad pick. All these players who are going to play for the U.S. Team are great players and they're going to show up there and they're going to be a great team if I'm on it or off it, but obviously I'd love to be on it.

Q. Where does this victory rank in your career highlights?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: It's a no-brainer. Best ever. To go out and shoot 62 on a pretty tough golf course on Sunday -- on Monday, sorry, Labor Day, it's fun.

Q. I was just wondering, you and Tom Gillis, I guess, had the pretty low scores today, but they weren't low overall. Any idea? It seemed like a perfect scoring day.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: The greens were pretty firm and the pin placements were pretty tough. That's probably why the scores weren't as low as you would think. The par-3 pins were tucked pretty good, and I was able to hit some good shots in there at the right times.

Q. There have been so many stories about young kids coming out and succeeding right away this year. Can you take us back to missing 15 cuts in a row? Does that make this feel --
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I did that? What? (Laughter.)
No, that's actually -- I've told the story a million times to people. My first year on the Nationwide Tour right out of college, I missed -- I thought it was 16 obviously. If it was only 15 I'm mistaken. But I think it was 16 I made my first cut. It was the most I've ever learned about golf is missing those 16 cuts.
Actually Zach Johnson and I reminisce every once in a while. We were traveling together. I think he missed his first 10 and I missed my first 16, and we pretty much weren't very good. But we learned how to travel. I mean, there's a lot more to golf than just playing golf, traveling, dealing with Monday qualifiers, time, how you -- how much you need to practice, how much you don't need to practice. I definitely learned a lot that first year on the Nationwide Tour, and I wouldn't give it up for anything.

Q. Do you think more golfers will grow their hair now that you've won?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Well, the way Rickie Fowler and I have been playing, maybe they will. Rickie has obviously had a great year, and his hair is long. I guess I do it just to stand out a little bit in the crowd. I guess golfers tend to sort of all look alike, and I try to stand out a little bit for my sponsors and myself to sort of showcase my personality.

Q. Do you think winning a tournament is a better way to stand out from the crowd?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: There's definitely -- good golf always makes you stand out a little bit better.

Q. What was the first leaderboard that you saw?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: When I was leading or in contention or just --

Q. Yeah.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I actually didn't see a leaderboard until on 15, before I hit my putt. I knew I had -- I think I had a three-shot lead at the time.

Q. Did that surprise you?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I knew I had been playing -- I knew the par I made on the hole before was pretty big. I wasn't sure -- I wasn't hearing any roars from behind me, so I wasn't expecting anything crazy. Obviously I was a little bit surprised I had a three-shot lead after I made the putt. But yeah, that was pretty much the only scoreboard I saw coming down the stretch.

Q. You said earlier this year that you weren't sure how you injured your wrist, but you thought that maybe it was because you were practicing too much in the off-season in the bunker. Do you think it's a bit of poetic justice on 13 there?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: That's a little ironic, yeah. I think that's pretty much the conclusion was I practiced too much in the off-season on my bunker game. My stats for last year were borderline horrendous.
And I met up through Tom Pernice James Sieckmann. I can tell you right now if I wouldn't have met that guy I wouldn't have won this golf tournament. I could barely get it out of the bunkers before, pretty shocking. He's helped tremendously with my short game and my bunker game, and I appreciate all the help he's given me and all the knowledge he has.

Q. I'm trying to remember, I think you got dinged kind of at the wire for the PGA by one of your former neighbors. Did you spend that whole week at Whistling Straits as the first alternate?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I was on Monday the first alternate at Whistling Straits, and I was out there. I was never in the tournament, but Bill Lunde, my neighbor you're talking about, whose grandpa started me playing golf, won the prior week after having a very average year, and he got in the event, which I'm obviously ecstatic he got in the event, but a little disappointed I didn't get in. Yeah, I was on the sidelines the whole week at Whistling Straits.

Q. Do you realize this gets you in all four next year?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah, I'm well aware of that. (Laughter.)

Q. Any thoughts on that, please?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah, first time going to Augusta. I've said since I turned pro I would never step foot on that ground unless I won and earned my way there, and finally I have. Unfortunately the year I won the Hope was a year they sort of had a different rule and I wasn't able to go to Augusta, but I can't wait, there's no question.

Q. What's the best perk out of today?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: The best perk hopefully will be a Ryder Cup berth. I'm not going to know until tomorrow. Obviously I wasn't in contention, but I hope I am now. It would be an honor to play, and I think I can play well. But besides that, definitely getting into Augusta is the best perk, and knowing inside I can close the deal coming down the stretch when I need to.

Q. You know the winner gets $10 million in this FedEx thing, too.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah, that wasn't definitely anything I was thinking about until this afternoon. I wasn't really in the race. I guess that's why this format is pretty unique and special. You can come out of nowhere sort of like Heath did last year and myself this year and hopefully have a chance there in Atlanta.

Q. You weren't probably on the radar screen until today. Would you be disappointed if you weren't picked tomorrow?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I would not be disappointed. You're not going to take this one away from me and try to disappoint me by not being on the Ryder Cup team.

Q. I'm not trying to.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: This is a very special day for me to win Deutsche Bank, and if Mr. Pavin thinks I'm a good enough pick, I'd love to join the team.

Q. I was checking out your website. Is this going to help your tee shirt sales, too?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I hope so. The "don't hassle the Hoff" shirts hopefully catch a little fire.

Q. There's actually a Boston Charley Hoffman fan club guy I saw out there wandering around when you were playing with Perez. Are there more of those people?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: The Boston fan club is actually my high school golf coach's best friend. He's come out every year since I've been here, supported me since the years I've missed the cut and the years I've played well. It's always nice to come to a week when people are cheering for you. Sometimes out here there's not that many people rooting for you. They don't know who you are, they're just out here drinking a few beers. But it's always nice to have a group of guys following you and supporting you.

Q. You don't happen to know his name?

Q. What would you have thought starting four behind today you would have needed today?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I thought if I got to 20-under was my goal to get to and thought I had a chance, and obviously I surpassed that by a couple.

Q. Do you think as a result of what happened today there will be more Mickey Hurleys in the world?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I hope all the fans come out and watch me and enjoy the way I play golf and come out and support me.
DOUG MILNE: Charley, in the 15 minutes we've been sitting here your phone has literally not stopped buzzing, so we know you've got a lot to get to tonight, so congratulations, and thanks for your time.

End of FastScripts

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