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Hoffman returns to defend Coors Light Open title

September 05, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

It's not often a 16-year-old has the opportunity to defend a golf championship that is not a high school event.

Alex Hoffman, of Middletown, Md., has that chance this weekend when he tries to repeat his Coors Light Open title from last season.

Hoffman will head a field of 89 players in the second edition of the event, previously the Washington County Amateur, on Saturday and Sunday.

"The field is real good and to beat them two years in a row would be awesome," said Hoffman, a sophomore at Middletown High School.

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Hoffman, the son of Yingling's golf teaching pro Bill Hoffman, will be in the lead group at 7 a.m. Saturday.

"Black Rock's not too long and I know the greens," said the long-hitting Hoffman. "I'll have to gear back a little off the tee."

One player who would like to dethrone Hoffman is Steve Caron, of Waynesboro, Pa., who captured the WACO championship in August and will be going for a Washington County sweep.

"It's exciting having a chance at a double win," said Caron. "I like my chances. I'm striking the ball solid and I got a putting tip from Ashley (Grier) while she was home."

Caron will tee off at 8:36 in a group with Dick Roulette, Kevin Reiber and Kevin Naylor.

"This is a major in the county and I'm going after it," said Caron. "(Hoffman) is a solid player."

Last year, Hoffman sizzled in the opening round with a 5-under-par 67, then held on with a 74 in the final round to edge Ken Lampard by one stroke and Caron by two.

Lampard also will be in the field along with other notables Greg Henry, Randy Barnes, Denny Stoner and a foursome from the Tri-State Junior Golf Association -- Haeun Lee, Chris Bushey, Alec Kessler and John Carey.

The weather forecast calls for rain on Saturday. If the round is rained out, Black Rock director of golf Darrell Whittington said the first round will be played Sunday, with the final round on Sept. 13.

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