Hoffman holds off Reed for Valero Texas Open win
Charley Hoffman recorded his fourth PGA Tour win Sunday after making a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th hole to win the Valero Texas Open.
Entering the tournament, Hoffman was ranked 200th in the final-round scoring with an average of 74.75 and with a string of near misses on Sunday. This time, he closed with a three-under par 69 to beat Patrick Reed by a shot and Chad Collins by two.
“Being in contention every Sunday and not closing the door is not me,” said Hoffman. “It’s nice to make that putt, that’s for sure.”
Ricky Barnes, the 54-hole leader seeking his first PGA Tour win in 222 career starts, shot 2-over 74 to finish in a tie for fourth at 9 under par, along with Kevin Chappell, Martin Piller and Billy Horschel.
Hoffman’s finish earned him US$1,116,000, but more importantly was the confidence booster he was after.
“This was my hardest one,” said Hoffman whose previous PGA Tour wins include the 2007 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, 2010 Deutsche Bank Championship and 2015 OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
“Grabbing that lead and holding on to it – it’s tough to keep the pedal down and give yourself birdie opportunities and win golf tournaments.”
Admitting the victory was not that easy, Hoffman made a number of critical saves, to keep his momentum and chances of another PGA Tour victory in his sights.
Charley Hoffman (Credit: Getty Images)
Hoffman missed a six-foot par putt on the third, but he balanced the books when he nailed a 21-footer for birdie at the next and he got in red figures for the day when he converted a precise approach to nine feet at the 11th.
He got up and down for another gain at the long 14th and made a crucial par save on the 17th and after a poor second, the two putts from 50 feet retained Hoffman’s slim lead over Reed.
“I definitely dodged bullets there,” Hoffman said. “I made my par saves and he missed his birdies, so I was able to keep my momentum.”
Reed, playing alongside Hoffman, had his chances as well and closed out nicely with a birdie on the par-5 18th for a 69. He missed birdie putts inside two metres on the par-3 16th and the par-4 17th, either of which would have pulled him even with Hoffman.
Reed collected his PGA Tour-best eighth top-10 finish of the season without a win, despite being in the hunt on so many occasions.
“With the way I was hitting the ball on Friday, the way I hit the ball Saturday and, you know, today was missing a lot of short putts, I’m shocked I even had a chance,” Reed said. “To make him have to make that 9-footer on the last, he did so. He won the golf tournament.”
Stuart Appleby was the best of the Aussies in a tie for 21st with Aaron Baddeley 29th and Matt Jones 60th. John Senden, Geoff Ogilvy, Rhein Gibson, Rod Pampling, Ryan Ruffels, Greg Chalmers, Cameron Percy all missed the weekend.