September 25, 2010 (updated sept 26) –Las Vegas Golf Region resident Charley Hoffman, who entered the 2010 Tour Championship presented by Coca-Cola third in the FedEx Cup standings, is still well within striking distance of becoming the first golfer with strong ties to Las Vegas golf courses to win the coveted title. Hoffman started the third round in a tie for 8th in the tournament, with a projected FedEx Cup finish of fifth, if all things remained the same. Hoffman has lived in Las Vegas since his UNLV playing days, and credits a fairly new short game coach with some of his success in 2010. But a solid weekend could still lead to 10 million reasons to celebrate. Hoffman was still in the top 10 entering the final round, but a tough final round start has probably cost him the FedEx Cup title. LIVE SCORING.–By Brian Hurlburt.

As reported here yesterday, Hoffman is a very busy guy these days. He and wife, Stacy, are expecting a child in November, he is throwing out the first pitch at the San Diego Padres game on Wednesday, and he is hosting the Charley Hoffman Las Vegas Golf Pro-Am on the Monday during the week of Las Vegas' PGA Tour event, the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. But his eyes are on the prize, but also believes if he can just take care of business at Eastlake this weekend, earning the $10 million first prize that goes along with the FedEx Cup championship will take care of itself.

"I'm just trying to win," Hoffman told the media following his second round. "Obviously if I win, a lot comes along with it. You really can't think about it. If you're in third place, you make a bogey you drop two spots. You can't really have swings like that. You're just trying to get up there close to the lead and win. If you looked at the points every time you made a bogey or made a birdie, all of a sudden you would be second or first or fifth, and I mean, you can't really pay attention until it's all said and done." Hoffman is one of several Las Vegas golfers who qualified for the season-ending Tour Championship.

The Las Vegas Golf Region is home to more than 30 tour pros who have strong ties to Las Vegas golf courses, including residents Kevin Na and Nick Watney, and former UNLV Rebels Adam Scott and Ryan Moore. Each of them, along with Hoffman, were playing in the Tour Championship. Click now for more articles from this website about Las Vegas Tour golfers. Entering the third round, Na was having the best week as he was in a tie for for 5th, one shot in front of Hoffman. The leaders were Jim Furyk and Kuke Donald. The Las Vegas Golf Region is also the home to many Las Vegas golf courses, including Bali Hai Golf Club, a tropical golf experience located right in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip. Click now to view the official website for Las Vegas golf course Bali Hai, where you can reserve your tee times in Las Vegas or Las Vegas golf packages.

Hoffman has been talking quite a bit about a recent partnership with short-game guru James Sieckman, who he started working with after a top from a fellow tour pro. Sieckman also works with several other PGA Tour players including former UNLV player Skip Kendall in addition to Tom Pernice. When asked why he has been much improved in 2010, Hoffman offered a few different answers, including good putting, but singled out Sieckman for his tips on sand play.

"I think the most underrated stat for the year is putting," said Hoffman. "I've always been a pretty good putter. I think I'm a little higher this year. But the reason I went with James at the beginning of the year was my bunker game. Actually Tom Pernice, I was trying to get a few tips from him, and he said why don't you go with the guy that teaches me, which was James. I mean, my bunker percentage has probably gone up five or six percentage points this year. In professional golf or any sport, when you make that big a change it's going to help your game."

Hoffman ranks 14th in putting average in 2010 (1.746), up from 35th a year ago. He also has a successful sand-save percentage of 50.38%, up from 46.47% from 2009. That increase moved him from 130th on the PGA Tour up to 84th. Another interesting stat for Hoffman is that he ranks first on the PGA Tour in the bounce ackb category at 28.5%. That means that he is the best at coming back from an over par hole and making an under-par score on the very next hole. He also ranks fourth on the PGA tour in average birdies per round category (4.0). Quotes from ASAP Photo: Steve Spatafore. 

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