By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. -- Charley Hoffman will surely need another final round like the 62 he shot a year ago if he's to successfully defend his title at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
But at least the long-haired Californian got things moving in the right direction on an overcast Sunday with the 65 he shot at TPC Boston. Hoffman, who made up a four-stroke deficit to win here in 2010, moved to 5 under for the tournament in the process.
"Today, early in the morning the greens were pretty receptive and perfect so you had the ability to make some putts and hit some shots close," Hoffman said. "I assume if it clears up and the wind blows a little bit it's going to firm up in the afternoon and be a little bit tougher to get the ball close to the hole."
Hoffman, who made seven bogeys and just six birdies in the first two rounds, kept the mistakes to a minimum in the third. His putter was more cooperative, too, as he logged nine birdies, one bogey and one double bogey while using just 27 strokes on the green.
"The first two days I made absolutely no putts," Hoffman said. "... Obviously it's shown you can go pretty low out here. If you don't make any putts no matter how good you hit it, it's hard to shoot low. Today I made a few putts, missed a couple, but all in all made my fair share today which was nice. I definitely didn't do that the first two days."
Hoffman, who tied for second at the Valero Texas Open earlier this year, returned to TPC Boston ranked 33rd in the FedExCup. He climbed 16 spots last week after tying for 10th at The Barclays, his second top-10 of the season.
Another solid putting round and low number on Monday could boost
Hoffman, who finished fourth in last year's FedExCup thanks in
large part to his Deutsche Bank Championship win, into the
all-important top 30 with two weeks remaining in the Playoffs.
"That was definitely the biggest thing," Hoffman said of the turnaround on the greens. "I didn't hit the ball any better or drive it any different. It's just I made the birdie putts a I need to and a couple of par putts I needed to and the next thing you know it was 6 under."