Charley Hoffman is closing in on making the Presidents Cup team for the first time. He has reached as high as No. 20 in the world, the best of his career. He is headed back to the Tour Championship. By all measures, the 40-year-old is having his best year.
Except for one.
“I haven’t won this year,” Hoffman said. “At the end of your career, you look at how many wins you had, not if you finished 10th in the FedEx Cup. You base your career off wins, and I haven’t won.”
Just don’t get the idea the disappointment of not winning is bringing him down. Hoffman has never been more upbeat, which correlates to good golf.
Along with spending more time with Jay Brunza, the psychologist who worked with UNLV when Hoffman was part of its national championship team, he has been traveling this year with wife Stacy and their two young daughters.
“I have a better attitude,” he said. “Having your kids, you don’t have time to worry about what you did on the golf course.”
Hoffman goes into the Dell Technologies Championship at No. 10 in the Presidents Cup standings, just 23 points ahead of Kevin Chappell, a slim margin when the points count quadruple during the FedEx Cup playoffs. Even if he doesn’t get one of the automatic spots, he has made it hard for U.S. captain Steve Stricker to ignore him.
He has two runner-up finishes, including a playoff loss in Canada. He was in contention at the Masters and U.S. Open until the back nine Sunday. He showed how much winning means to him at the Bridgestone Invitational, when he told his caddie while discussing whether to hit 3-wood to the par-5 16th green: “I’m trying to win a tournament. I’m tired of finishing second.”
At the start of the year, I wanted to contend in majors and win tournaments,” he said. “I’ve contended in majors. I just haven’t been able to win tournaments. Obviously, that side has been disappointing because I’ve given myself a lot of opportunities.”
His best year? Not without a victory.