Charley Hoffman has denied that he has any intention of abandoning the PGA Tour but has doubled-down on criticisms he articulated in his much-shared social media post.
Hoffman, 45, caused a major furore with a lengthy Instagram post following the second round of the WM Phoenix Open.
The American took aim at both the PGA Tour and the USGA after falling foul of the rules on the par-5 13th at TPC Scottsdale.
A winner of four PGA Tour titles, Hoffman called the ruling “a joke”, adding: “It’s still mind blowing that a group of amateurs rule the professional game of golf.
“I also blame the PGA Tour rules officials for putting out a terrible penalty area line where this could even happen. No accountability at any level here. No protection for the players at all.”
Cryptically, he continued: “You wonder why guys are wanting to jump ship and go play on another tour. Players need transparency, protection and consistency. We don’t have that under the current governing bodies.”
The comments were widely condemned and, after his third round on Saturday, Hoffman faced the media and the music.
“I think I explained it fairly well, but I’m obviously not a huge fan of the USGA and how they govern us all the time,” he sad. “I was under the impression that the rule had changed. And I was frustrated when the rule hadn’t changed, why it hadn’t changed.
“I mean obviously we have a PGA Tour liaison that helps with the USGA and helps in figuring out what the rules should and shouldn’t be.
“it didn’t make any sense at that point in time why that rule hadn’t changed, especially this exact tournament when it happened to Rickie Fowler. He ended up winning the golf tournament, but it could have cost him the golf tournament.
“And unless you come out on a platform like I did it somewhat influences a change. That’s what I meant by the rulings and everything else.”
Hoffman added that he spoke with officials the USGA and PGA Tour on Friday to expand on his complaint but denied that he has any intention to abandon the PGA Tour. Instead, he said he purposefully included the remark about players potentially wanting to “jump ship and go play on another tour” in order to bring attention to his bigger point.
“If I just griped about a rule, no one probably catches it, no one says anything,” he said. “So I put a jab in there on purpose just so that the media would catch it.
“We have a threat. I mean, that’s real. You can’t hide under a rock and say it’s not.
“There’s no way it’s ever crossed my mind to go over and play for a competitor – ever. If it came across in that Instagram post that I have been reached by them, I have not been reached by them. It came across wrong. I added that so the media would catch it, so I would prove my point on the rules side.”