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September 22, 2010

Charley Hoffman


CHRIS REIMER: We want to welcome Charley Hoffman here to the media center for the TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola. You're in the coveted top 5 of the FedExCup standings and in control of your own destiny this week to win the FedExCup. Talk about what it's like to be here at East Lake and in competition for the FedExCup.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Ironically I haven't really thought about winning the FedExCup much this year. I really wasn't in contention to be here until a couple weeks ago when I won. I'm approaching it like any other tournament, trying to get the win, and obviously all the accolades will come along with that.
This week I'm sort of approaching it just like any other tournament, obviously coming down Sunday might be a different story thinking about that $10 million bucks, but I've always played to win golf tournaments and obviously the FedExCup sort of goes along with that. If you win golf tournaments you're going to be in contention to win the FedExCup.
CHRIS REIMER: A lot of people talk about clutch performances in sports. That 11 birdies on the final day at the Deutsche Bank, just talk about what that day was like and what it's meant to your season and to your confidence.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah, I put myself in contention a few times this year and wasn't able to close the door. THE PLAYERS Championship I played with Tim Clark who sort of -- not that he made me believe that I could do it, but I saw someone do it and how they did it. I saw him always keep the pedal down on the ground and I tried to keep it going because you know those guys -- the saying is these guys are good out here and they keep making birdies, so I tried to keep making birdies so I'd stay in front. At the end of the day, I didn't know I had made 11 birdies and shot 62 and won by five, so it was a lot of fun.

Q. You said you haven't thought much about winning the FedExCup, but can you wrap your hands around the concept of $10 million and what you might do with it?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I have no clue because as of right now, I have pretty much everything I want. I have a healthy wife and a baby on the way and a nice home. I really don't know what I'd do with it. So it really hasn't crossed my mind. I'm sure I will find a few ways to spend it if we do win it, but we'll figure that out afterwards.

Q. I was hoping to ask you about two different holes. First, the opening hole, can you sort of take us tee to green on that hole, tell us maybe your club selection, is it a scoring opportunity for you, that kind of thing?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I think any hole out here you get in the fairway here is a scoring opportunity. I mean, the fairways are so good and you can spin it off the fairways to these greens. If you hit the fairway it's a scoring opportunity. If you miss the fairway, all the a sudden the greens are so firm and fast you're just trying to make a par. Obviously pin placement on 1 determines if it's that much of a birdie opportunity because if the pin is back right, you're probably not going to make that many birdies. But if it's in the front part, you've got a backstop there.
I think this whole golf course you have to set it up off the tee, which is in the fairway. If you don't get in the fairway, even on the short holes, you're going to be struggling to make pars.

Q. Speaking of short holes, the last one is a par-3, which is a little bit unique. You guys don't play very often on a finishing hole that's a par-3. One, can you sort of take us through what's your club selection, hit it on the green and get your two-putt and get out of there; and two, how do you feel about finishing on a par-3, which is something you guys don't do much?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: It doesn't really affect me finishing on a par-3, but I've definitely gone with the strategy -- my caddie and I have sort of figured it out. We just want to land that ball four or five paces on the green, and when the pin is back, if it gets over that back hill, it gets over it. If it doesn't, it doesn't. You can't play that hole from long. If you play from the bunker short of the green, there's no chance of getting up-and-down. So we've definitely gone with the strategy of just trying to aim for the front third of the green and hopefully it ends up somewhere near the pin.

Q. Besides maybe looking at Tim's aggressive approach in that final round of the TPC, was there something else maybe that you didn't have that day, some mindset that you had in Boston?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I just -- the situations that came up that were challenging for me, the first one really that was a problem was on hole 13 where I hit it in the front bunker and the bunker shot went in. So the adversity -- really didn't have a handle on the adversity because the adversity turned into a birdie.
The next hole I ended up in the right trees, got a break, ended up on the cart path and then made a good up-and-down there for par.
And then after that I was pretty steady, hit a lot of middle of the greens and hit a few close, and I just never really had to handle the adversity of making a bogey on the back nine. Making a bogey down the stretch on the back nine sort of derails whatever you had going before, and I really didn't have to do that because I made a lot of par saves and some birdies in other tournaments.

Q. By the same token, you didn't take yourself out of it on the front nine. You seemed relaxed. Where did that come from do you think?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I just think the preparation I put into it and learned from all the other situations that I didn't succeed at, that's how I just -- I wouldn't say -- I mean, all I could do was go up. I mean, I was in fourth place, and if I had shot even par and finished 10th, no one really would have cared. So I just tried to keep making birdies until I could win the tournament. I knew the only way I could really get in the TOUR Championship was have a real high finish there, so I didn't really have anything to lose. Maybe that's what I should be thinking about more often was making sure I finish in the top 10, but really the only mindset I had was winning that week.

Q. So is that your mindset this week, that you have nothing to lose?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I definitely have nothing to lose this week. It's all -- just make it to the final -- to the TOUR Championship, it's all gravy now. Obviously I go into every week trying to win, but this week for sure, if I finish 30th, I finish 30th. If I finish 1st, I finish 1st. I'm going to go out and give it my best shot and hopefully I finish near the top.

Q. What are you going to be doing next week besides hopefully spending $10 million?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Next week I'm going to be pretty busy. I'm going to be in Vegas setting up a baby room in our house because we've got another one coming and hopefully going to throw out the first pitch at the Padres game on Wednesday.

Q. When is the baby due?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: November 8th, baby girl.

Q. A lot has been written about the points, the system, the changes. Do you as players like talk about that stuff, whether it's in a practice round or in competition? Or is all the stuff that sort of swirls around in the media more stuff that's fabricated or somewhere in between?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: We definitely talk about it. I don't think there will ever be a perfect system. Golf is a traditional sport with the tradition of the majors being the top draw. But the FedExCup is really the only year-long thing that we have to determine a winner. And I think the way they're doing it is bringing some excitement to the event and getting everybody that makes the Playoffs a chance to win. I guess that's sort of -- if you're in baseball or football or whatever, if you get in the Playoffs, you've got a chance to win the Super Bowl. I think they've done a good job of making it different than any other sport, and they've done a good job of if you get in the Playoffs, you actually have a chance to win the FedExCup. In that case that's been a pretty good system. Is it the best system that golf is based off of the rest of the year? No, but I think it's a pretty good model.

Q. Troy Polamalu of the Steelers was able to get a hair care endorsement out of his long hair. Have you been approached by anybody?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: No, but there have been a few people that have joked with me about that. Mine might be Rogaine or something like that because it's falling out. No, I have not been approached.

Q. How was your win at TPC Boston different from your first win out in Palm Springs?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: The first win in Palm Springs I obviously did in a playoff, so it wasn't -- coming down the stretch I finished birdie-eagle to even get in a playoff there to win. The first one you always wonder -- you're on the TOUR, it's been like the second year, you wonder am I good enough to win out here, and it sort of justifies being on the PGA TOUR. Even though Phil did play that week, the Hope is a notoriously little weaker field. But obviously a win is a win on the PGA TOUR.
The Deutsche Bank had the best of the best in the field, and obviously I beat the top players that are on our TOUR, and definitely it's a good feeling.

Q. How did you come to represent Waste Management?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I met with a fellow named Steve Neff a few years ago in Phoenix, just after I won, so just after my second year in Phoenix, and they had the idea of wearing a green glove, and they had thrown it around to a few other agents, and I was like, I don't know if anybody wants to wear the green glove. I said, if there's a guy that can pull off wearing a green glove, it's probably me. So I jumped on board.
I've always sort of looked out for the environment as much as I could growing up in San Diego, and I guess they thought it was a perfect fit, and it's easy to represent a company you believe in and believe in what they do.

Q. Do you practice at all for throwing out the first pitch? Are you going to ground it or --
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: The few people -- I talked to Greg Maddux last week, and he goes, just make sure you don't bounce it, and that's pretty much the consensus of everybody. I think I'm going to hit the backstop before it hits the ground in front of the plate.

Q. Are you more nervous about that than any golf tee shot?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Oh, definitely. Golf I practice, and throwing out the first pitch, you've never practiced before. No, golf is easy. I practice all week to play golf. Playing golf is easy. The hard part is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday when you're practicing.

Q. Will you practice that throw before you --
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I think I might throw a few balls probably before the game, maybe the day before or something, find somebody to play catch with. I'll throw a few balls for sure.
CHRIS REIMER: Thanks, Charley, good luck this week.

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