I realize these guys are playing for huge purses, and that second-place prize money is a life-changing amount. They have families and friends to provide for, and they need to think about FedExCup Points and Presidents Cup Standings; they need to secure their career and bank accounts, and I get it.
But there’s nothing more entertaining than the pure, unadulterated will to win.
That’s exactly what Charley Hoffman showed on Sunday at the 2017 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, when he decided to go for the green on the par-5 667-yard hole No. 16 while sitting three shots back of eventual champion Hideki Matsuyama. The pre-shot exchange with his caddie was even more telling about his mindset, and will to win; or at least the will to not finish second (again).
“I’m trying to win a golf tournament!”
Charley Hoffman ignores his caddie’s advice and takes on the green at the 667 yard 16th hole. pic.twitter.com/j5LjMVL8F9
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) August 6, 2017
“I’m trying to win a golf tournament,” Hoffman said. “”I’m tired of finishing second.”
Hoffman went on to make a disappointing par on the hole, ultimately finishing in third place, six strokes behind Matsuyama. But he showed a lot of determination by taking on the shot that could have cost him a lot of money, and he showed what Skip Bayless would call the “clutch gene” by actually pulling off the shot.
If you ask Brandel Chamblee, this type of decision-making down the stretch may have helped Ian Poulter win the 2017 Players Championship.
Moral of the story: If you have a chance to win — whether it’s a PGA Tour event or your local club championship — embrace the opportunity.