Media Center Interviews
April 24, 2016
Interview With Charley Hoffman
DOUG MILNE: All right. We'd like to welcome the winner of the 2016 Valero Texas Open, Charley Hoffman. Charley, congratulations on your 4th career PGA TOUR title. Heard outside somebody was saying or were you saying it's about time?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah.
DOUG MILNE: It really is. Look at your number, your 5th Top-10 finish in 11 starts here. You're now if I added it up right, you're 43-under just since the tournament moved to TPC San Antonio, so it's about time. So congratulations and with that I'll just turn it over to you for a few comments.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Yeah. Obviously in the past I've played well here. I've come into this event I've been playing well and it's nice to obviously close a Sunday out.
It's been a rough month and a half and that's where, "It's about time" comes from. Obviously I had good feelings coming into this week and knew I needed to close the door.
I knew I was close coming the back-9 and I knew I needed to still make a few birdies to have a chance and I was able to make a few coming in with a couple par saves and this feeling never gets old getting in the Media Center doing interviews. This is the fun part of golf.
DOUG MILNE: With that we'll jump in and take a few questions.
Q. Charley, the last putt, Patrick was saying hey, it was outside the hole so he made a good putt. What did you read and how did it break?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: It was about a cup outside left. I hit a good putt. It's one of those just commit to it and hit it. It's a good situation knowing that if it doesn't go in at least I got another whole to play.
I said to myself, "Let's finish this here, let's not play anymore." I actually didn't know what the group behind us, if they could make eagle or tie. I hadn't seen a scoreboard in awhile. I knew if I made birdie I had a good chance to win.
Q. Charley, how much did it weigh on you the last month and a half because you have put yourself in a position many a times, I think you've been on the leaderboard like Top-10 11 times in the last four, five tournaments but never on Sunday. How much was that weighing on you today?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: A lot. This was probably my hardest one. My first one Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, now CareerBuilder, it's when I was young, made some birdies and eagles coming in to sort of jump to the top of the leaderboard and then made a birdie in a playoff hole to win and sort of came out of nowhere I would say.
Deutsche Bank, caught fire on Sunday and jumped up the leaderboard and was able to win that event.
I haven't been able to take that lead or near the lead and sustain it throughout my career for the most part. Then Mayakoba I was two back starting Sunday and played a good solid round of golf there, which was nice after getting in contention.
And not doing it it hurts. I pride myself and that's why I play this game is to get in that contention. I have those feelings. I love the way your body feels when you're in contention and just -- I mean how can you -- how can I describe this?
Just the way you react and sort of be able to maintain composure. I haven't been able to. It's been tough. To be able to go through that period in the last month and a half and close the door like I did, it's a very good, gratifying feeling.
Q. Can you just take us through the set of emotions on 18? You hit a great drive and then you get in the bunker and the chip leaves you nine-and-a-half feet. What was going through your mind during that entire hole?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Obviously hit a great drive which was first and foremost to give myself the opportunity to attack that hole, back pin knowing if I just get it going back there hopefully it gets closer. Just left in the bunker not bad or just right in the bunker is not bad. First and foremost I want to take the water out of play and carry it far enough to do that.
Had a pretty -- I was happy to see the bunker. Could have hit a little bunker shot. I was protecting a little bit. If you get going it goes down over the tier. I wanted to keep it up top and give myself an opportunity to make the putt which I've been putting well all week and was able to convert.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about 16? You used a hybrid there next to the green and how -- I mean that would have been a very easy two shot swing he does convert. Talk about that being a key hole.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Talk to the rules staff first to move the galleries a little bit away. It had a chance to trickle if the gallery doesn't hold it up.
I was in a tough spot going from 9 overseeded so get up to hit it and make sure you have enough steam to get over the overseed fringe. Patrick hit a great shot in there. Hit a good putt and missed and I was able to convert my par putt.
Same thing sort of happened on 17. I hit not a very good wedge shot there into 17. He hit a good wedge shot and we were about the same distance. He barely missed his again. I was able to convert.
I made my par saves and he wasn't able to make his birdies and I kept momentum and I mean I was lucky. I makes both those putts, not that it makes my putts any harder or easily.
Q. You used a hybrid on 16?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I did use a hybrid. Tried to get it rolling and started.
Q. Is that what you usually use on a shot like that?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Usually the ball doesn't stop on the hill like that because the gallery is not there. I just was trying to get it started. You could have putted it or hit a hybrid. Could have used a lot of things.
Q. Charley, do you think 16, 17 you think you got to be dodging a bullet there?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I definitely dodged bullets. I thought I hit a pretty good shot on 16 on the tee. I thought if I just -- one little kick right and could have been just as close as Patrick. It didn't.
Then I was trying to hit a little sand wedge into 17, caught it a tad heavy but was able to two-putt that. He had 6, 7 footers for birdie to probably steal my momentum and who knows what would have happened. Hit an unbelievable chip on 18. That chip was a very hard shot up against the fringe and collar there to put the pressure back on me.
Q. On 17, that's been your nemesis hole all week. What were you thinking when you're standing over that little pitch?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Just thinking a good, confident stroke. I've been making those putts all week. Those are the putts you have to make to win golf tournaments. It's not easy winning out here on the PGA TOUR, as I've proven the last few months. It's nice to close the door and make those putts when you need to.
Q. Charley, can you describe your emotions on 18 after your putt, that fist pump was something to behold?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Like I said, this is my fourth win. This was the hardest one I've had. So close for the last month and a half feeling I could have knocked off a couple wins.
You sort of -- I'm 39 years old. You never know how many more chances you're going to have to win on the PGA TOUR. To forfeit those last few weeks has been tough and hard. I knew I've been playing well and dug deep.
Got a great support system with my wife and kids and family. It's a great feeling to be able to close the door.
Q. Any of your kids that you know what happened to your daughter after --
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I heard my oldest, Claire, got stung by a bee or ant when I made the putt. That's her thing to run on the green. Unfortunately she was in tears a little bit. I was also maybe in tears for another reason but it's nice.
She always ask me, "Did you win, are we going to get to go to Hawaii?" It's nice to be able to put Kapalua back on the calendar.
Q. In terms of just this week or especially today, how much was it a challenge mentally?
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: I think day-in and day-out golf in a challenge mentally. Obviously this game isn't easy on your nerves or your mentality. You look back in the early 2000s and why Tiger was so good was because of that. Whenever he had the lead he won.
You look on the PGA TOUR, the guys that lead on Saturday and Sunday rarely really win. I wouldn't say it's easier to come from behind. Grabbing that lead and holding on to it, it's tough to keep the pedal down and give yourself birdie opportunities and win golf tournaments.
DOUG MILNE: Anybody else? All right. Charley Hoffman, congratulations.
CHARLEY HOFFMAN: Thank you, sir.