AUGUSTA, Ga. – Charley Hoffman called his fast start a “dream” in Thursday’s first round of the Masters.
He jolted awake in the middle of Friday’s round.
Hoffman laid over some sod, chunking a wedge from point blank range in the eighth fairway. Where the guy couldn’t seem to do anything wrong in his red-hot finish in the first round, he struggled to get his iron game right midway through the second round, with his play turning as cold as the chill blowing across Augusta National.
Hoffman, 40, bogeyed five of six holes in a tough stretch on his way to a 3-over-par 75.
Though he posted a score 10 shots higher than he opened with, Hoffman was still relishing his position leaving the course. At 4-under 140, he had a share of the lead with Sergio Garcia (69) with the afternoon groups still out.
“I like where I’m at,” Hoffman said. “I’ve got a chance.”
Thanks to his brilliant 65 in the first round, Hoffman enters the weekend with a chance to win his first major.
“Everybody was talking about how great that round was yesterday, but it was pretty easy to me, making putts, hitting good, solid golf shots,” Hoffman said. “Today, I felt how hard it was for everybody else in this wind, when you got out of position. I guess it did feel 10 shots worse because I just didn't make any putts.”
In 22 previous major championship starts, Hoffman has one top-10 finish. He tied for ninth at the Masters two years ago.
That’s the year Hoffman went off in the final group on Saturday with Jordan Spieth, who went on to win. Hoffman was five shots back that year and ended up 10 back.
“Obviously, being in position going into Saturday here at the Masters is going to be special,” Hoffman said. “I'm not going to put too much pressure on myself, but I'd be lying to say it's not a great feeling and a great spot to be.”