Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Hoffmann Enjoys Debut Week at Augusta

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Hoffmann Enjoys Debut Week at Augusta

Article excerpt

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- A week that felt like it had only just begun was coming to an end, and Morgan Hoffmann still wasn't sure how it all went by so fast. But he was certain he'd enjoyed every second of his Masters debut, culminating with his best round of golf on his final day.

As Hoffmann walked up the 18th green Sunday, he was hours ahead of the tournament leaders. But the personal cheering section by his side all week was already in position, a group of Jersey friends and family standing just outside the ropes. And when the 25-year-old golfer from Wyckoff finished off a difficult up-and-down for par, they exploded with the same hearty whoops and hollers that have propelled Hoffmann throughout the tournament. The par putt left Hoffmann with a 2-under for the day, which meant he finished his Masters debut 1-under par overall and earned at $68,000 check.

"It was so cool," he said, standing in the shade of the Augusta clubhouse where he'd just turned in his final scorecard. "It's great to get to red numbers. It really makes me happy to finish well, especially out here. The closing holes are pretty tough, a lot can happen. I'm ecstatic right now."

Hoffmann barely hesitated when asked for a most memorable moment, picking the eagle chip he'd holed out on No. 3 Saturday. It was a shot he'd actually predicted the night before, joking in a conversation in the rented house filled with friends and family that he'd drive and chip his way to success on that hole.

"The power of positive thinking," he called it.

But if he saw the shot before it happened, he admitted Sunday he didn't know the reward, that any eagle at the Masters earns you a piece of crystal.

"I had no idea. I was like, 'That's sweet,'" he said. "And I have two of them."

Indeed he does, adding an eagle on No. 13 Saturday. He did find a nemesis on hole No. 11, however, learning firsthand why the difficult stretch of 11-12-13 has been dubbed Amen Corner. It's where golfers go and pray nothing bad happens. …

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