Hoffmann makes dream a reality by earning TOUR card

December 04, 2012
John Dell

With time to kill in Dallas on the morning of Oct. 29, Morgan Hoffmann went to see his old golf team at Oklahoma State.

Since it hasn't been long since he left Hoffmann, 23, felt at home watching the Cowboys play in the Royal Oaks Invitational. He was content to walk around the course and chatting with Coach Mike Holder, and he was very much at ease.

That wasn't the case during the final two rounds or the Web.com Tour Championship at TPC Craig Ranch as Hoffmann grinded his way to the PGA TOUR for next season.

He fired a 64 on to close out the season finale in a tie tie for third, which was good enough to push him into the top 25 on the money list. Not bad for somebody who didn't have status for most of the season on the Web.com Tour.

"It's kind of nice because I'm not worried about anything right now," Hoffmann said as he was biding time before catching a flight to San Antonio. "It was really nice to see everybody on the golf team and to see the coaches. It was really cool and they didn't know I was coming out."

Hoffmann had planned to go see family in New Jersey but because of the storms caused by Hurricane Sandy, Hoffmann stayed in San Antonio for a couple of extra days. He'll go to New Jersey eventually then get back to Jupiter, Fla. where he shares a place with PGA TOUR players Rickie Fowler and Cameron Tringale.

"It's pretty exciting," Hoffmann said about playing the PGA TOUR next season. "Honestly, I'm going to be excited just to have a full schedule because I've been so much in the mode of trying to qualify on Mondays."

Hoffmann, who didn't have any status on the Web.com Tour until the final two tournaments, said he still thought he had to go somewhere to play the next Monday.

"I still think I need to go qualify somewhere," Hoffmann joked.

Hoffmann, who was 31st on the money list heading into the Web.com Tour Championship, jumped all the way to 19th on the final money list. What was the most satisfying for Hoffmann was accomplishing a rather large goal.

"It's been a lot of hard work and I've learned so much," Hoffmann said about earning a PGA TOUR card. "I'm real excited that I did it and it's a dream come true."

Hoffmann first caught fire in June on the Web.com Tour thanks to sponsor's exemptions and Monday qualifiers. He made his first five cuts but then hit a lull before he got it cranked up again toward the end of the season.

Hoffmann had a stretch where he had four straight top-10 finishes to get closer to THE 25. In the final full-field tournament, the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open presented by Planters, he tied for 30th.

Then it was just the top 60 on the money list for the Web.com Tour Championship.

"There's so much on the line that week," Hoffmann said, "and everybody knows that so you just have to put it aside and it was almost like a non-factor. I just tried to go out and play golf and have as much fun as I could and I had a great caddie that week and had a good gameplan. Everything worked out."

Hoffmann wound up playing in 13 Web.com Tour tournaments and making 12 cuts. While he didn't win, he came close losing in a playoff in the Chiquita Classic in late September.

"The key was I really worked hard on my wedges and I changed my attitude around," Hoffmann said about his season. "From putting a lot of pressure on myself and being hard on myself after every round I just took the constructive criticism from my coach and had fun. I just went out there and played the game of golf."

Easing up on himself proved to be the biggest factor in his success.

What makes Hoffmann even more excited is he will get to see his two roommates a lot more in 2013. He says, however, that Fowler, a former college teammate, and Tringale didn't put any extra pressure on him.

"We'd still be friends no matter what happened so there wasn't more pressure but now we'll just get to have a little more fun because we'll all be on the PGA TOUR together," Hoffmann said.

His plan is to be ready for anything next season, but his goals haven't changed.

"Every golf tournament, I want to win, so I'm going to go out there and try to prepare and hopefully it will be a good year," Hoffmann said.

Now that his hard work is over Hoffmann is ready for some well-deserved rest.

"I'm looking forward to some great nights of sleep," Hoffmann said.

John Dell has covered golf for the Winston-Salem Journal in North Carolina for the last 19 years. His views do not necessarily represent the views of the PGA TOUR.