The Tour Report
  • Home course an advantage for Hoffmann

  • Morgan Hoffmann put together a stellar round in front of a hometown crowd on Saturday. (Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)Morgan Hoffmann put together a stellar round in front of a hometown crowd on Saturday. (Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

PARAMUS, N.J. -- Morgan Hoffmann entered The Barclays with his back against the wall.

He made the field of 125 for the FedExCup Playoffs opener with one spot and 10 points to spare. So he needed a big week at Ridgewood to be one of the 100 who advance to play at next week's Deutsche Bank Championship.

Maybe a little home cooking -- literally -- is just what Hoffmann needed. He grew up about 10 minutes from Paramus and he's spent this week sleeping in the bedroom where he grew up. 

"I have posters and Walker Cup pictures and all that stuff," Hoffmann said. "It's so comfortable."

DEUTSCHE BANK: Hoffmann's scorecard | Rd. 3 updates  | Live golf schedule | FedExCup scenarios | Projected FedExCup

Hoffmann certainly found his comfort zone at Ridgewood on Saturday, too -- firing a bogey-free 66 that moved him well up the leaderboard at 7 under. The ovation he received at the 18th holes was neat, too. 

"Guess I feel like Tiger kind of around here, which is a pretty cool experience," Hoffmann said. "I can't be more happy right now."

Hoffmann, who played his high school golf at Ridgewood, is competing in the Playoffs for just the second time -- and he didn't advance past the first round last year. He called Saturday's round of 6 under a "big confidence booster" entering the final 18 holes.

"Just going to take one shot at a time and not really think about numbers tomorrow," he said.

Hoffmann said he and his caddie have taken a hard look at his game of late, and they came away with an important conclusion that is paying dividends at Ridgewood.

"I've kind of played tentative on TOUR and that's not really my style," he explained. "I like to be aggressive and sometimes put me in good positions and sometimes it doesn't, but this week I'm just going out and having fun and being as aggressive as possible."

Maybe it's easier to have fun when there is so much support -- even if he did have to battle his mother over the radio when she drove him to the course on Saturday.

"I'm just kind of listening to music and she's just being positive like she always is," Hoffmann said. "And I'm like, mom, let me just listen to music. But she's great. She's so positive and I can't ask for anything more."

Hoffmann said basically recognized everyone in his gallery on Saturday. He doesn't get nervous, though -- ever since he played youth hockey, Hoffmann has enjoyed playing in front of big crowds.

"It's actually been really hard to not look into the crowd, because I want to, and go say hi to everybody but I need to stay focused and hopefully catch up after," Hoffmann said.

He did catch up with some high school friends on Friday night that "I haven't seen in forever," Hoffman said. "It was so great, I was cracking up all night and just trying to keep the mood a little bit light and it seemed to be working."

Imagine the celebration Sunday night if he makes it to the Deutsche Bank Championship.