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September 24, 2010

Charley Hoffman


Q. Much better today than yesterday.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Definitely made a few putts but driving the ball in the fairway today was a key, being able to be aggressive into the green. I only hit a few fairways yesterday, hit a few first cuts. But today hit a majority of the fairways to give myself a little bit more opportunity to hit the green.

Q. How do you assess your position right now?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: If the leaders don't -- I think I glanced up and 7-under is leading, so it's still within reach. Obviously there's some birdie holes left out there for them and there's also some bogey holes. So if I stay within five, six shots, I mean, I feel pretty good.

Q. What do you have to change over the next couple rounds to really surge upwards?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I don't think too much. I think obviously I've only made four bogeys in two days out here, which I think is fairly decent. Obviously you want to make a bunch of birdies, but there's not a lot of birdie holes out there.
Eliminate the little mistakes like three-putts and go on the weekend and hopefully catch fire on Sunday like I did in Boston.

Q. And what's been the toughest challenge over the first two rounds today? What have you found hardest here?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Hitting fairway -- I think the key to this golf course is hit the fairway, because once you hit the fairway you can be pretty aggressive into the pins. And if you don't hit the fairways, you're just trying to make pars. Birdie is not even on your mind.
I think for Saturday and Sunday, it's just try to hit some more fairways and give myself opportunities.

Q. How much are you thinking about the FedExCup?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Not -- I'm just trying to win. Obviously if I win, a lot comes along with it. You really can't think about it. If you're in third place, you make a bogey you drop two spots. You can't really have swings like that. You're just trying to get up there close to the lead and win. If you looked at the points every time you made a bogey or made a birdie, all of a sudden you would be second or first or fifth, and I mean, you can't really pay attention until it's all said and done.

Q. It's a little easier, too, when you're one of those five that kind of controls with a win yourself.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I wouldn't say it's easier because everybody else is trying to win, too, to have a chance. I think the only chance anybody has really to control their own destiny are the top 5 obviously, but if Luke or Geoff goes out and wins, I have no idea what I need to finish to have a chance. You just try and play your own game and let the points system figure itself out when all the points are done.

Q. Do you think the point system needs to be tweaked? And how would you tweak them?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Do I think they need to be tweaked? I mean, there's good and bad. Obviously you want movement in the Playoffs and you want anybody that's in the Playoffs to have an opportunity to win, just like in football a wild card team can go ahead and win the Super Bowl.
I had a little idea. I don't know if it was even discussed, but starting the Playoffs everybody gets points, so if you miss the cut by ten shots, you only get like one point, but if you make the point -- or miss the cut by a shot, you get rewarded sort of for playing halfway decent if they have the idea of every shot counts.
Then once you get in the Playoffs, maybe every shot should count even when you're missing the cut. That's just my little idea. I have no idea how that would work out or even if it would pencil out right. I think if you're in the Playoffs maybe everybody should get points and obviously you're going to get more points when you make the cut.

Q. What has your recent win done for you and your game?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Obviously gives you a little bit of confidence knowing that you can do it out here against an elite field like I did in Boston, and I'm just -- I mean, golf is a funny game; you get rolling and you feel like you can't be stopped, but there's times like the beginning of the year where you get on a bad stretch and don't feel like you're ever going to break par again.

Q. Do you just get a terrific surge of confidence, though?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I've always said golf is easy when you're swinging and playing good, you're confident. And golf is real hard when you're not playing good. That's -- I mean, when you're in contention, you're there. There's a reason why you're there, it's because you're playing good and you're confident. When you're trying to battle to make cuts, you're usually not that confident with your golf game or your putting or whatever. I feel like I'm playing good, there's nothing that can really stop me.

Q. Was this round good -- obviously good for your confidence?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah, I mean, I was really happy with the way I drove the ball. Obviously you wish you could make a few more putts out there. These greens are perfect. They go right where you're aiming and hit it. I mean, I'm pretty happy with the way I drove the ball. That's what I'm going to take the most out of this round.

Q. Your improvement over the last ten months, a lot of top 10s and a win. If you had to put your finger on a couple of things on the rise, what would that be?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: A couple things on the rise? Just obviously beginning of the year, I had a wrist injury. And I usually play good on the West Coast and obviously wasn't healthy at the beginning of the year and golf is hard to play when you're sort of swinging around a hurt wrist. So I had to take five weeks off, and obviously my wrist is healthy now and I'm not worried about it, not worried about hitting shots, and I think that has a lot to do with it.
I've been working hard with my short game instructor James Sieckmann and my long game instructor Sean Callahan. They both are out here this week and been teaming up pretty good, and the results are showing.

Q. Anything surprise you about the golf course this week? Is this your first look at it?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I mean, it's instantly one of my favorite on TOUR now. It's a good golf course. It rewards good ball-striking, and you can't really fake it around this golf course.

Q. What do the stats show as far as your game being better, driving better, putting better?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I think the most underrated stat for the year is putting. I've always been a pretty good putter. I think I'm a little higher this year. But the reason I went with James at the beginning of the year was my bunker game. Actually Tom Pernice, I was trying to get a few tips from him, and he said why don't you go with the guy that teaches me, which was James. I mean, my bunker percentage has probably gone up five or six percentage points this year. In professional golf or any sport, when you make that big a change it's going to help your game.

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