The Blog

Charley Hoffman carded the best opening round at Colonial. After, he revealed why he has extra motivation to win.

Along with a trophy and a lavish check, the Charles Schwab Challenge winner receives a classic car—a tradition that began in 2019.

Last year, Emiliano Grillo drove home a 1973 Ford Bronco after beating Adam Schenk in a thrilling playoff.

This year, the tournament will award the winner a fully restored and modernized 1975 Schwab Stingray, a gorgeous sports car that has plenty of players salivating.

But nobody is more motivated to win it than Charley Hoffman, who held the solo lead after shooting a 5-under 65 Thursday.

“My dad had one of those when I was a kid, and then when my brother turned 16, he got rid of it [because] insurance probably doubled when he turned 16, but he had a sports car,” Hoffman explained.

“The motivation is—he doesn’t know this—he might, he’ll probably know it now, but is to win that car for him, there’s no question.”

Hoffman came close to winning on the PGA Tour earlier this year at the WM Phoenix Open. But he lost to Nick Taylor in a thrilling playoff. Taylor made five birdies over his last six holes to steal the title from Hoffman.

Alas, Hoffman still has four PGA Tour victories to his name, but it has been a while since the 47-year-old prevailed. He last found himself in the winner’s circle in 2016, when he won the Valero Texas Open.

But back injuries have plagued him since then.

“If I’m healthy, I feel like I can beat anybody in the world. When my back gets a little funky, I don’t think I can beat anybody. It feels pretty good. Obviously, heat and humidity and all that work in my favor, there’s no question,” Hoffman explained.

“If I stay loose, my back stays loose, I can hit it as far as anybody, and I can play with ‘em. When it gets a little stiff, it’s a tough game for me. So, I feel good about the weather forecast this week, and I think I have a great chance. It’s one of the old traditional golf courses that you look on the calendar and go, I think I can win this week, have a good chance to win this week.”

Hoffman has put himself in a good position thus far at a “refreshed” Colonial.

He called his first round “weirdly easy” on a day when nobody else shot lower than 4-under par. We shall see if his strong play continues into the weekend, but in any event, Hoffman has plenty of motivation to get the job done.