N.j.'s Morgan Hoffmann Set For Barclay's; Tiger, Jason Dufner Interviewed

N.j.'s Morgan Hoffmann Set For Barclay's; Tiger, Jason Dufner Interviewed

Coming into the 2013 season, PGA Tour rookie Morgan Hoffmann of Wyckoff, winner of the 2005 NJSGA Billy Y. Dear Junior Championship, said his goal was to finish in the Top 50 and win one tournament.

He didn’t quite achieve either mark, but his No. 111 ranking on the PGA Tour has afforded him a spot in the Barclay’s at Liberty National, the first event in the FedEx Cup playoffs and his best finish was a T5 at the HP Byron Nelson Classic that earned him $244,550, one of three top 10 finishes this season.

He has made 11 of 19 cuts this year, including a run of six in a row. He has earned $871,000.


Wearing a pedometer this week, he will donate $1,000 for each 10,000 steps he takes to The N.J. Golf Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the New Jersey Section of PGA of America.

He tees off in the first round on Thursday at 8:49 with playing partners Chaz Reavie and Carl Pettersson. Tee time on Friday for Round 2 is 1:39. Tiger Woods tees off at 8:16 Thursday and 1:06 Friday; Phil Mickelson goes at 1:06 Thursday and 8:16 Friday.

Hoffmann is one of nine PGA Tour rookies to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs. He is playing in his first PGA Tour event in his home state and is thrilled to be back.

“It’s nice to be home for some home-cooking and sleeping in my own bed,” joked Hoffmann, who said he visited his parents previous to Wednesday’s practice day at The Barclay’s, where he was interviewed on the practice green.

“The last two days here, I’ve driven it well and it’s been a test of hitting the greens. But right now, my all-around game is good,” said Hoffman, 24, who spent two years (2008-09) playing at Oklahoma State before joining the mini-tour ranks.

“The last month, my wedges have been better and my putting has been great. I’m comfortable with that,” he said. “I’ve spent the last week working on impact, feeling the ball coming off the clubface solidly.“

Hoffmann said winning the NJSGA Junior was a big part of a good year for him. He also played in the U.S. Amateur as a 15-year-old.

“That was a good year for me. It was a lot of fun getting on a bigger stage. Winning is always good for the confidence,” he stated.

“I’m consistently getting better and working hard each day to get better,” he noted.

Hoffmann commented that his regimen includes eating and sleeping right, working out with the correct trainers, practicing a lot, and making sure he also takes some time off to enjoy himself.

“I’ve learned so much since I’ve turned pro, a lot more than I learned in college,” he said. “It’s been an amazing process to learn new shots and get comfortable out here. “


Q: How does getting to 80 victories on Tour rank on your career resume?

TW: I never thought I would get here this quick. It’s been an amazing, amazing run to get here. The consistency is one of the things I’m most proud of, in winning five or more tournaments in 10 (of those) years in there, that’s one of the stats that I’m really proud of. This is one of those years.

Q: Is that something that’s grown on you as you get closer to 100 wins. Is 14 major wins what you measure yourself on?

TW: I’m second on the all-time list on both of those, whether it’s the majors or all-time wins. That’s not bad at my age. Both of those guys took lot longer to get to that point, and to do it, where I’m at right now, it’s pretty good.

Q: Talk about being back here (at Liberty National) and the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs.

TW: I’m excited. It’s good to be back, and the golf course is obviously very different than the last time we played it. It’s not only that they made a bunch of changes, but it’s really dried out. The last time we played it, it was certainly not that way with the weather. (Now) the greens were really getting some speed to them and the fairways were giving it up, so it’s going to be a heck of a test.

Note: Phil Mickelson chose not to address the media on Wednesday.


Q: A lot of people and reports labeled you as emotionless during your PGA victory. Would you ever consider changing the way you are out on the course?

JD: No, I think what I do out there is true to me, and I think it’s important to stay grounded to who you are. That’s just how I’ve always responded to things. I was excited. I was satisfied and gratified, because I knew how much sacrifice I made and what it took to win the major. But I don’t show it out emotionally outward too well, but that’s just who I am and how’s it’s been. I do not want to try and change things.

Q: How do you feel coming into this tournament? Do you feel you’re riding a wave of momentum?

JD: A little bit. I feel like I played pretty good at Firestone the week before the PGA. A week off, you don’t know. Sometimes it can go either way. I felt like I got some good work in last week. I was on the course yesterday. The tough thing about this event for me is that we change venues so often. The venue change here is tough for us. We get used to playing certain courses and expect to play them, so that will be an adjustment this week, but I feel pretty good.

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