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Hoffman

Charlie Hoffman

Once again Charlie Hoffman feels right at home at TPC Boston after firing a tournament leading 63 at the field on Saturday. As it was in 2010, it is again in 2015.The cast of characters of Hoffman, Day, Furyk are in the hunt.

Five years ago in 2010 Charlie Hoffman fired a record setting final round 62 at the Deutsche Bank Championship to win the event. Starting the final round four shots behind Jason Day, he erased the deficit with four straight birdies early in his round. Then came a mixture of good breaks and great shots, and a Midas touch with the putter for the California kid with blond locks flowing under his cap.

Hoffman finished at 22-under 262 to tie the tournament record first set by Vijay Singh in 2008.

Jason Day, who has been on fire this year, finished the 2010 Deutsche Bank Championship T2 after Hoffman’s blistering 62. He is looming after two rounds just 6 shots back T10 tied with Jim Furyk who literally stole the FEDEX Cup Championship in 2010 after picking up a used putter from Joe & Leigh’s Golf Shop in Easton, MA during the Tournament at TPC Boston.

Hoffman with 2010 Trophy

Charlie Hoffman, Winner of the 2010 DBC

Charley Hoffman, who five years ago closed with a 62 to win on the TPC Boston, made birdie on half of his holes for a 63 that gave him a three-shot lead over Brendon de Jonge after 36 holes. Rickie Fowler (67) and British Open champion Zach Johnson (65) were another shot behind.

Hoffman took advantage of his early tee time to gather nine birdies for an eight-under-par 63 at the Boston TPC where he won in 2010.

He posted a 12-under 130 halfway total, with Brendon de Jonge of Zimbabwe (68) the closest pursuer on nine-under.

Australian Jason Day, who has won three times in his last four events, including the PGA Championship, sat six shots back in a tie for 10th after successive 68s.

“I think he likes this place,” Rickie Fowler said in understatement. “Doesn’t matter what kind of year he’s having, how he’s playing the week before, he always seems to find a way to play good here.”

Jim Furyk

Jim Furyk

And why not? Through two rounds, Hoffman has made one eagle, 12 birdies and just two bogeys. He ranks first in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green and Strokes Gained: Total, as well as fifth in Strokes Gained: Putting.

“This is one of those courses you get on the tee, set up well, and the visuals are good,” Hoffman said. “And I tend to make a few more putts than average for me out here on these greens, which is nice.”

Hoffman entered the Deutsche Bank Championship comfortably ranked 17th in the FedEx Cup after a win at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba and two runner-up finishes in his six top-10s. He is 16th in the Presidents Cup, too, with the team being finalized after this week so Hoffman could make a big jump with a win.

Open Championship Winner Zach Johnson Looming

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Zach Johnson

At 7,242 yards, with six par 4s that measure more than 450 and one par 5 that clocks in at an even 600 on the scorecard, TPC Boston doesn’t seem like the kind of course that would suit Zach Johnson. But it doesn’t always play as long as it looks.

“This one, you’d be surprised, in the sense that I’ve got a lot of loft in my hands on a lot of holes,” Johnson said. “I was making the comment the other day, I want to say it’s 11 holes where I feel like I’ve got 8-iron on down.”

So Johnson, who ranks 154th on TOUR in driving distance, needs to take advantage of the shorter holes and play the par 5s strategically like he did in winning the 2007 Masters. So far, so good, too — he’s 3 under on the two par 5s and has only made one bogey against nine birdies.

Johnson’s round of 65 on Saturday has the 12-time TOUR winner in a logjam at 8 under, tied for third and four off the lead. His best birdie probably came at the par-5 18th where he had to hit his third shot out of the fringes of the native area that fronts the green, then made a 25-footer for birdie.

Day had just finished off a second straight 68 that moved him within six strokes of the leader. But the Aussie, who had obliterated the field last week at The Barclays, just wasn’t pleased with the way he was hitting his driver, finding only 17 of 28 fairways.

Sunday tee times begin at 7:45 today with Mark Wilson going off as a single in the first group. Jason Day is slated for 12:50 just ahead of Jim Furyk at 1PM. Zach Johnson will go at 1:30 PM and the last group of Hoffman and Brendon de Jonge at 1:50 PM.

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