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January 19, 2013

Charley Hoffman


JOE CHEMYCZ:  Like to welcome Charley Hoffman to the interview room.  Past winner here at the Humana Challenge.  67 today, 5‑under par.  Put yourself into contention for tomorrow.  Maybe just talk about today first of all, and then we'll open it up for some questions.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  Yeah, today was a pretty good day.  Been making putts all week, which is the most important thing out here, I think, at this tournament.  Made some good par saves.  Made a good par.  Started on the back nine, made a good par save on 10, birdied 11, both par 5s, I think 11 and 13, something like that.  And then bogeyed 17, and then made birdie on 18.
So turned at 2‑under and made some pars around the turn, and then birdied the two par‑5s around 14, 15, and then made a good par save on ‑‑ sorry, sorry, it was 6 and 7.  The par‑5s on the front nine and 5 and 6, and then good par save on 8, and then I got a birdie on the last hole.
So made some good putts, which is the main thing.  Last couple years the putter hasn't been that hot, and it's nice to see my name up there on the leaderboard.

Q.  You got to pretty decent record in this particular tournament, winning it, and in admittedly a bizarre year out there with the wind.  But a couple other finishes, too.  Are you just excited by the beginning of the year or is there something here that works?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  I have always enjoyed playing in the desert or the Coachella Valley.  I mean, it's just always good weather, good place to get your game started off.
The last couple years I haven't played as well as I wanted.  Right when I won it the very first time I ever played it, and I think maybe top‑10 after that.
So I like playing out here.  If I get the putter going, I'm usually always sort of up there near the top of the leaderboard.  And it's been going pretty good this week, and hopefully got one more day and keep it going.
But I enjoy playing with amateurs.  I like playing pro‑am.  Every week we play a pro‑am.  I enjoy it.  So playing a tournament with a pro‑am doesn't really affect how I play.  I don't mind it.  It's actually pretty fun to interact with those guys.  So some guys I don't know if it throws them off or something, but I enjoy playing in the pro‑am format.
I succeeded in the past and hopefully I'll have a chance tomorrow.

Q.  When you come into an event where you know the winner's going to be way under par, does that change how you approach the tournament?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  To be honest with you, first tournament of the year, not very many expectations.  At home, I was playing pretty good golf.  You just don't know ‑‑ I haven't played a tournament since Vegas.  I didn't touch a club for over two months really, which was the first time I ever did that.  I didn't go overseas.  Last couple years I gone oversees, I didn't do anything.  It was a nice rest.  Started getting going, enjoyed the holidays, enjoyed the new year, went skiing, and I was fresh and ready to play some golf.
I think mentally I'm in a good spot.  I've hit just as many bad shots as everybody else, but I made some good putts and stayed in a pretty good frame of mind, which I think is important in this game.

Q.  Second going into the final 18 is normally a pretty good spot.  You're five shots back, though.  Does five shots sound too daunting on these golf courses where you know there's birdies or can it be done?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  I definitely think it can be done.  Obviously, Scott sort of controls his own destiny, we should say.  If he gets off to a hot start and makes some birdies early, it's going to be hard on us.  But if we get off to a good start and make some birdies and he happens to make a bogey, you can make bogeys out here.  There's water.  There's trouble.  There's some good par‑3s.  But on the same note, obviously you can make a lot of birdies also.
So playing with the lead's never easy.  I've done it, and collapsed last year with a couple shot lead with two to play, so five shots with 18 holes is, I mean, I would like to have a five‑shot lead, but it's not anything you can't overcome.
JOE CHEMYCZ:  All right.  Thank you.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  All right.  Thanks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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