September 06, 2014
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
- Morgan Hoffmann sizzled Saturday and could make a run at a TOUR Championship spot on Sunday. (Doug Pesinger/Getty Images)
CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- Morgan Hoffmann entered the BMW Championship ranked 68th in FedExCup points. That allowed him to take a go-for-broke approach at Cherry Hills, knowing that a top-three finish was the only way he'd advance to next week's TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
The approach didn't pay off in the first two days, as he shot consecutive 2-over 72s. On Saturday, it paid big dividends -- specifically an 8-under 62 to give himself a fighting chance in Sunday's final round. It's believed to be the course record at Cherry Hills, although records before 1980 could not verify it.
"I don't have anything to lose," Hoffmann said about his career-low round on the PGA TOUR. "So I was just trying to have some fun."
Hoffmann started his third round off the 10th tee and opened with three straight birdies. He ended his first nine with three more birdies, then added a birdie on his 10th (the first hole) and 12th (the third hole). At that point, he was 8 under on his round. Both he and his caddie Steve Underwood were thinking the same thing: 59.
"We had some attackable holes coming up," Underwood said.
"It was possible with three more birdies coming in," Hoffmann added.
But a couple of pars and a bogey at the par-3 sixth ended the shot at 59. He did add another birdie coming in, though, and he's now tied for 10th going into Sunday's final round.
Part of the credit for his low round, Hoffmann said, was playing with two other players with hot hands. Freddie Jacobson and Jerry Kelly were each 4 under on their rounds, so collectively the group was 16 under.
"We were feeding off each other a bunch," Hoffmann said. "We were joking around the whole day. Kind of just messing with each other, which is a lot of fun out there. It really helped our game."
Hoffmann will enter the final round nine shots off the lead held by Billy Horschel. But he's just four shots out of third place. If he can go really low once more ... well, you never know.
"I'm going to be going low and being as aggressive as I can," Hoffmann said. "There's no reason not to."