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May 15 2011

10:12 PM

Hoffman went down swinging

By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Just so you know, Charley Hoffman hit the shot he wanted at the par-3 17th. Twice. He just couldn't plan for the wind. "I can't,'' he said, "control the wind. I can only control my golf swing.'' Luckily, both got in sync on his third attempt -- this one from the drop zone -- and he walked away with a quadruple-bogey 7. Conversely, the hole knocked him out of contention at THE PLAYERS. Hoffman was 10-under for the tournament and closing the gap on David Toms when he stepped to the 17th tee. He was 6-under when he walked off the green, having teed it up twice from the regular tee and once from the drop zone. "I hit it right where I was aiming,'' he said. "The next thing I know, the wind came up and  . . . I felt pretty good about the swing so I hit it from there again.'' Aggressive? You bet. "I get it on there and hit it to 6 feet for birdie, then I go to 10 and hit 2-iron, 7-iron for another birdie, post 12-under and you never know what happens,'' he said. Nice scenario... if it had worked out. Instead, he managed to get it on the fringe, then clean up with a 14-inch putt for his 7. He closed the day with a par for a 71 and a 6-under-par 282 and dropped about two dozen places. "I know that cost me a lot of money, but I can sleep tonight knowing I went out down swinging,'' Hoffman said. "I wouldn't have been able to sleep if I had just hit it out there to the left of the pin and played safe.'' His assessment of the hole? "It's a great hole,'' he said.
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