Morgan Hoffmann’s journey to the season-ending Tour Championship was an improbable one to say the least.
Hoffmann has toed the line between even making the PGA Tour Playoffs and advancing each week.
At Cherry Hills, Hoffmann needed the weekend of his life at the BMW Championship to jump some 38 spots into the top 30 for the season-ending Coca-Cola Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club.
Hoffmann did pretty much just that.
In the third round Saturday, Hoffmann blitzed Cherry Hills for nine birdies and an 8-under 62 to jump into a tie for 10th heading into Sunday’s final round.
Despite an up-and-down start Sunday that included two birdies, a bogey and a double through five holes, Hoffmann remained unphased. From No. 6 on, Hoffmann returned to his Saturday form, carding six more birdies and an eagle on the par 5 17th. Hoffmann even flirted with the weekend scoring record held by Stuart Appleby, but his birdie try on 18 slid just by the hole as he closed with rounds of 62 and 63, playing the weekend at 15-under-par.
“The way Morgan (Hoffmann) played on the weekend, it was awesome to watch,” said Gary Gilchrist, who has coached the 25-year-old Hoffmann since he was a junior. “He played aggressive and was so confident. As a coach, watching your student play to their potential like that is what it’s all about.”
Entering the playoffs at the second-to-last spot at No. 124 heading into the Barclays Championship, Hoffmann posted a T9 to move to 72nd in FedEx Cup points standings. A T35 at the Deutsche Bank Championship the following week got him to No. 68 in the points, just two spots in again.
Then at the BMW Championship, Hoffmann didn’t get off to the greatest of starts and sat at 4-over-par through the first two rounds, needing to post two very low rounds to even have a chance at heading to Atlanta.
On No. 17, Hoffmann had 256 yards to a back right pin, over water and hit a bullet right at the pin to about 10 feet for an eagle try. Hoffmann drained it to get to -11, though still needing some help from the field.
And he got just that.
On 17, where Hoffmann all but assured his spot at East Lake, Sergio Garcia uncharacteristically bladed his greenside chip into the water and went on to triple the par 5. Hoffmann then had to avoid a birdie-birdie finish by Ryan Palmer, who also finished much unlike his normal form with a closing 40 on the back nine.
Hoffmann’s improbable end to his season has just one more start left in it. Maybe he has just one more improbable finish, but he’ll have to do so against one of the year’s strongest fields.
The Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, located near Orlando, FL in Howey in the Hills, is the world’s premier junior golf academy. In addition to the junior golf program, GGGA also features summer golf camps, winter golf camps and programs, training and golf lessons for amateurs, professionals and adults.
The Academy is committed to excellence in every facet of golf, fitness, personal development and academics, evident through exclusive relationships with Montverde Academy, an acclaimed private college preparatory school, and the American Junior Golf Association.
Gary Gilchrist, founder of the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, has been recognized as a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher 2013-2014 and as a Golf Digest Top 50 Teacher in America 2012-2013 and 2014-2015. Gilchrist teaches many of the games top juniors and pros at the Academy, including Morgan Hoffmann, Shanshan Feng, Fabrizio Zanotti and many more.