Hoffman continues strong play at TPC San Antonio


Charley Hoffman continues to feel quite comfortable at TPC San Antonio.

Hoffman has turned the Valero Texas Open into one of his favorite events in recent years, with finishes of T-13 or better in each of the last six appearances. That stretch includes a runner-up in 2011 and a T-3 finish in 2013, and it's a streak Hoffman appears intent on extending after opening with a 6-under 66 to take an early lead.

Play was halted for much of the day Thursday because of rain, but once Hoffman got to the tee he made quick work of things, with birdies on three of his first six holes. He had seven birdies on his round, including an 11-footer on No. 18 that pulled him one shot ahead of Stuart Appleby and Peter Malnati.

"Six under par is always good on this golf course, or any golf course," said Hoffman, who took only 26 putts to complete his round. "I tend to play well here, and hopefully I can keep it going and have a chance on Sunday.

Hoffman has been playing well in recent weeks, including a T-14 finish last week at the RBC Heritage. But starting events hasn't been an issue for the veteran, who ranks 24th this season in opening-round scoring. Instead, that scoring average has gotten progressively worse as tournaments have gone on, and Hoffman's final-round scoring average of 74.75 is 200th on Tour this season.

If he's going to reverse that trend, though, he's likely going to do it at a favorable layout like TPC San Antonio, where Hoffman is now 37 under par since 2010 - a whopping 21 strokes better than anyone else across that span.

"I've been close the last month or so, and I've got to put four good rounds together instead of three. You don't win golf tournaments with three good rounds," Hoffman said. "I've won before. I've come back from bad Sundays, and this happens to be a stretch where I haven't played well on Sunday, but I know I can play good."