Charley Hoffman was a birdie putt away from winning the WM Phoenix Open but came up just short. However, he still gets rewarded in a way.
His runner-up finish earned him a spot in this week’s Genesis Invitational, the third Signature Event of the year — a decent second-place prize.
Following a gut-wrenching playoff loss Sunday, Hoffman let the media in on something between him and Tiger Woods.
“I asked Tiger for an exemption, and he said they’re all taken, so I said, ‘I’ll play my way in,’ so I guess I did,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman earned a place in the Los Angeles event after he went out and went low. His final-round 64 put him at 21-under and the clubhouse leader. Hoffman had to sit around and wait to see if it would be good enough.
Nick Taylor got hot down the stretch and birdied three of his final four holes to force a playoff. He eliminated Hoffman on the second extra hole with a birdie as the 47-year-old could not match him.
“I played my butt off. I gave myself a chance,” Hoffman said. “I knew if I got to that 22 number, it would be hard for him to catch me and left a putt short in regulation. But I love the juices. I love competing. This builds a little fire in the belly. I definitely want to be back here.”
It’s been a while since Hoffman contended in a tournament. His last top-10 was at the 2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic. He had just five top 25s on the PGA Tour last season, including finishing 14th at this event. Hoffman burst onto everyone’s radar this weekend after he posted back-to-back 64s.
It looked like he would run away with it for a while, but he came up just short in the end.
Regardless, he told Woods he would play his way in, and Hoffman did just that. He does have to cancel his plans with his family though.
“I’m excited about that. I guess I’m playing next week and not going skiing,” he said. “We were planning on going to Mammoth skiing for a few days. I guess we’re going to have to change those plans.”
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, be sure to follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.