Monday, April 25

Charley Hoffman: 'This Was My Hardest One'

CHARLEY HOFFMAN MADE A 9-FOOT birdie putt on the final hole to win the Valero Texas Open on Sunday.

The 39-year-old Hoffman closed with a 3-under 69 at TPC San Antonio for a one-stroke victory over Patrick Reed. Hoffman finished at 12-under 276 and earned $1,116,000 for his fourth PGA TOUR victory.

"This was my hardest one," Hoffman said after a vigorous fist-pump and drill-team leg kick when the winning putt fell at 18. "Grabbing that lead and holding on to it -- it's tough to keep the pedal down and give yourself birdie opportunities and win golf tournaments."

(Source: Valero Texas Open email)

Olympics Controversy

Adam Scott has dropped out. So has Vijay Singh. And also Louis Oosthuizen. Golf is returning to the Olympics after a very, very long absence, but these marquee players will not be in Rio de Janeiro, according to carefully worded statements.

I've been trying to decide what I think about this. My knee-jerk reaction: They should play; they should represent their countries. It's an honor and a privilege. I've also considered this: Who am I to say what Adam Scott should do? And, does it make any difference that they are professionals rather than amateurs?

I recall when the Olympics was only for amateur athletes, with a focus on sportsmanship while competing for medals, and about promoting goodwill between nations. How do pro athletes enter into the Olympics equation? I still wonder.

Brian Keogh, quoting European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley and others, has penned a thoughtful piece on the "anti-Olympics brigade." The old guard such as Johnny Miller and Jack Nicklaus think Scott's decision is regrettable. Read Keogh.

I cannot begin to fathom what it's like to be Adam Scott. Still, it's hard to understand why he can't carve out time for the Olympics, even if he'd rather not be bothered. Obviously, it doesn't come along often. It's an opportunity to be an ambassador for the sport and his country, a once-in-a-lifetime deal.

Why not play this one time instead of talking about his busy schedule?

I like Scott. I like the way he conducts himself. I don't understand his Olympics decision. I do understand it's his business. Hopefully, he'll understand the disappointment from his fans and countrymen.

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