CROMWELL, Conn. – As Charley Hoffman made his way toward the TPC River Highlands clubhouse Thursday afternoon, his mind raced back 12 months to last year’s final round at the Travelers Championship when he was closing in on his second PGA Tour title.
Last year, Hoffman could have cruised past eventual champion Marc Leishman with a pair of closing pars, but instead finished double bogey-bogey to finish tied for second and a stroke out of the lead.
“Believe it or not, I was thinking about it going down 16, 17, 18,” Hoffman said following a 9-under 61 to move into the lead at the Travelers. “If I could have just gotten those balls in play, I would have been defending champion here.”
This time, Hoffman played the last two in 1 under par (with a birdie at the last) to move a stroke clear of Hunter Mahan. It was quite an accomplishment considering Hoffman began his day by chipping his tooth at breakfast.
Hoffman said he initially chipped his tooth at The Players and hasn’t had time to have it properly fixed. He quickly bolted TPC River Highlands to find a dentist to have the chip re-plastered.
“Nothing major, no pain or anything,” Hoffman said of his chipped tooth. The same could be said of his bogey-free round.