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September 28 2011

7:30 PM

Hoffman has eyes on Kodak prize

One of the tournaments within this week’s tournament is the Kodak Challenge, which resumes at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Bill Lunde leads the $1 million season-long race. Three strokes behind Lunde? Childhood friend Charley Hoffman.

Lunde and Hoffman grew up in San Diego together and have been friends since their days in So Cal. Of course when it comes to trying to win something, friendship gets shelved.

“We always root for each other, but when his name's on the scoreboard, I want to beat him more than anybody else,” Hoffman said. “I want to get up there and try to make a run.”

This week’s Kodak hole is the 560-yard par-5 16th at TPC Summerlin.

Hoffman is 22nd on the PGA TOUR in total eagles with nine, which he feels should give him an advantage over Lunde.

“It's definitely an eagleable hole,” Hoffman said. “I've done some research. [Lunde] hasn't made any eagles, so if I get an eagle and a couple more birdies, I can actually win the event.”

Lunde, however, has played a lot more holes than Hoffman in the Kodak Challenge, so that means Hoffman will almost certainly need to eagle the 16th this week to have any chance of catching Lunde. And if he does that could impact his decision-making for the rest of the Fall Series -- next week’s Frys.com Open also features a driveable par-4.

“I'm going to give him a run,” Hoffman said. “He already told me he'd never talk to me again if I beat him, and then I asked him if he promised. No, kidding.

“But no, it's all in good fun and we're all trying to win a million dollars here.”

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