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January 18, 2014

Charley Hoffman


DOUG MILNE:  We would like to welcome Charley Hoffman to the interview room.  2007 Humana Challenge champion.  Eagle at the last today to get to 20‑under.  Congratulations on a 6‑under 66 today.  With that said, just a few comments on the round.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  Got to have to a pretty slow start.  Didn't birdie 2, which was from the middle of the fairway which was a little disappointing.
Then birdied, let's see, made a great birdie on the par‑3 and the two par‑3s.  Yeah, I birdied the two par‑3s which was nice, but I then I made a sloppy bogey from the middle of the fairway on 6 on the par‑5 with a hybrid in.
Short sided myself.  So that was disappointing.  So didn't get the par‑5s on the front nine.  Then sort of made a bunch of pars, didn't birdie 11, which was a birdie hole.  And then sort of jump started the round with a good par save on 12 and then a birdie on 13, and then started getting it going late in the round.  Obviously, it was nice to get to 20‑under par when I was sitting at 14 for a lot of the day.
DOUG MILNE:  Take questions.

Q.  Talk about the eagle.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  Hit a good drive, had perfect number, for 6‑iron in.  It was one of those numbers that I knew I had to hit a good shot or it was going to not get over the water.  But it was the perfect number to, if I hit a solid shot I was going to end up close.  So hit a great 6‑iron in there to about three and a half to four feet.

Q.  What was the number?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  I had 188 front and 194 pin.

Q.  So you're 20‑under and you're seven shots back.  I mean that's pretty insane, obviously.  How good is Patrick Read playing to do what he's done?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  Really good.
Obviously the weather's been perfect, greens are perfect, I mean the scores and birdies are out there.
But that being said, it was a big eagle, because going down that last I was looking at the scoreboard and I'm 18 under and I'm nine back.  And I sort of approached that hole as the start to tomorrow and a starting to try to chase him down.  So that was a good start.

Q.  Stallings was up five after 54 holes last year and didn't win the tournament.  Do you think in a tournament like this it's easier to makeup a deficit like that?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  Well, obviously you can make a ton of birdies out here, but I've said this from day one, there's plenty of trouble on this golf course, there's plenty of water, to hit it in coming down the stretch.  But all the holes are birdie holes at the same time.  18 you can make six or you can make three.
17's a wedge hole, but if you pull it you're hitting in the water.  You got pretty much water coming down the whole back nine.
So if your nerves show up, you can, have you a chance to make some bogeys.  That being said, if you hit it in the fairway you got wedges into everyone of those holes and you can make a lot of birdies.
So it's his tournament, there's no question, if he goes out there and makes a few birdies on the front nine and makes some pars on the back, I mean that makes me shoot 9‑under if he only shoots 2‑under to even have a chance at a playoff, which was a pretty fantastic round.  There's some pressure playing with the lead.  I haven't done it a ton, but the times I have, you sort of change your mentality sometimes and obviously sometimes it doesn't work out and sometimes it does.  But I wish I was a little closer than seven, but I've only got to catch one guy.

Q.  Talked last week about staying aggressive, and obviously it's easy to kind of stay aggressive out here, but did you feel like you had that mindset and will have it tomorrow?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN:  I have to.  I play this game to win golf tournaments.  And I've only won two, but I think last year I learned a lot by not staying aggressive in the final round.  And I'm 37 years old, I don't care how many Top‑5's I have, I'm going to try to win the golf tournament.  And I may go down ‑‑ I'm going to go down swinging, in other words.  You're not going to see any tentative swings by me, hopefully.  And hopefully I have a chance.
DOUG MILNE:  Okay.  Charlie, thanks for your time.  We appreciate it.  Best of luck.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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