Charley Hoffman responds after being denied Genesis exemption by Tiger Woods

Charley Hoffman ultimately delivered on his promise to Tiger Woods despite coming up short at the WM Phoenix Open. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Mon, 12 Feb 2024
Charley Hoffman responds after being denied Genesis exemption by Tiger Woods

Charley Hoffman delivered on his promise to Tiger Woods after initially being denied an exemption by the former World No.1 into this week's Genesis Invitational, which is hosted by the Tiger Woods Foundation on the PGA Tour

Hoffman, 47, was narrowly denied in his bid to become the second-oldest winner of the WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on Sunday when he was defeated by last year's runner-up Nick Taylor in a playoff. 

However, despite missing out on being exempt for all the remaining Signature Events on the PGA Tour this season, among with many other perks that come with a PGA Tour victory in 2024, Hoffman has at least qualified for Woods' tournament that features a huge $20m total prize fund this week. 

Only he didn't initially realise until he was informed by the media late Sunday night. 

Hoffman now plays his way into this week's Genesis Invitational at famed Riviera as a result of coming through the PGA Tour's new AON Swing 5

The Aon Swing 5 incentive rewards the top five players who have earned the most combined FedEx Cup points from the Sony Open, American Express, Farmers Insurance Open and WM Phoenix Open this season. 

Hoffman is fourth on the list, joining Matthieu Pavon, Grayson Murray, Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Kevin Yu in the top five spots for an exemption into Woods' event. 

Charley Hoffman delivers on his promise to Tiger Woods

While Hoffman was understandably deflated having come so close to a fifth PGA Tour title and a first in nearly eight years in Arizona on Sunday, one reporter did at least cheer him up with news he had qualified for the Genesis Invitational hosted by Woods' Foundation. 

"The Aon Swing 5 has got you into Genesis, just a few comments on that," the reporter put to Hoffman, who replied: "Did it?!" 

Hoffman added: "That's awesome. I'm excited about that. I guess I'm playing next week and not going skiing.

"We were planning on going to Mammoth skiing for a few days. I guess we're going to have to change those plans!" 

Hoffman then revealed his little Tiger Woods story, and how he ultimately delivered on his promise to the 15-time major champion.

There were apparently no exemptions left into the Genesis Invitational earlier this month, according to Woods.

So Hoffman took things into his own hands. 

Hoffman said: 

"So 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." 

When pressed for comment about his near-miss at the WM Phoenix Open, Hoffman admitted he could not have played much better having closed with a pair of 64s. 

Hoffman, once 20th in the OWGR, said: 

"Yeah, putting myself in contention coming down the stretch, I didn't really falter, so I've got to give Nick credit. He came back with birdies on 16 and 18 and then 18 and 18. He birdied four of the last five holes he played. Hats off to him for doing that.
"I played my butt off. I gave myself a chance. 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."

Hoffman, now fit for the first time in a while, believes he can still contend with the best in the business on the PGA Tour despite nearing the age of 50. 

"I want to kick all these young guys' butts, believe me. I sit back and I want to beat them. I want to be in these Signature Events. I want to be one of the best in the world again. If I'm healthy I can compete, and I want to show these guys I've still got it.

He added:

"My back has been bad and just a lot of maintenance, and it's been nice to be able to show up every week and be able to practice and play and not just hopefully get a start and get in the round.
"I can't compete against these guys with a sore back, but if I'm healthy, I've still got it."

Hoffman not only takes consolation of playing his way into the Genesis Invitational this week, but he also vaults from 300th to 108th in the OWGR and moves to 25th in the season-long FedEx Cup standings.

He also picks up a small sum of $959,200 for finishing second at the Phoenix Open. 

Hoffman now moves up to 30th in the all-time career PGA Tour earnings list with $34,484, 336 (that list does not include players who were removed as a result of going to the LIV Golf League). 

Next Page: How much they all earned at the 2024 WM Phoenix Open

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