- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 7, 2010

NORTON, MASS. (AP) - Charley Hoffman’s flowing blond locks attract plenty of attention. Now his golf game is getting noticed, too.

The cheerful Californian grabbed the spotlight at the Deutsche Bank Championship on a picture-perfect, late-summer day with some big rewards at stake. His victory Monday not only clinched one of the 70 spots in the BMW Championship starting Thursday, he moved up to No. 2 in the FedEx standings.

Hoffman also boosted his chance, nonexistent before the tournament, for a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team but had to wait a day to find out if Corey Pavin made him one of the four captain’s picks.

So where does his runaway, 5-stroke win after a final-round 62 rank in his career?

“It’s a no-brainer,” said the 33-year-old Hoffman, whose only other victory was in 2007. “Best ever.”

Maybe now when people see that long hair trailing from his cap they’ll recognize him for his skill rather than just his style.

“I guess golfers tend to sort of all look alike and I try to stand out a little bit for my sponsors and myself to sort of showcase my personality,” Hoffman said. “Good golf always makes you stand out a little bit better.”

He blasted in from a bunker. He holed birdie after birdie, 11 in all. He needed just 22 putts. And he left the rest of the field chasing a golfer whose playing partner sensed after three holes that it would be Hoffman’s day.

It wasn’t Phil Mickelson‘s.

If he had finished fourth, Mickelson would have become No. 1 in the world for the first time in his career, knocking Tiger Woods from his usual perch. But Mickelson made triple bogey on the 10th hole and double bogey on the 17th. He came in 25th with a final-round 76.

“I shot 1-under on the front (nine) and was going to try to make a move on the back, but it wouldn’t have mattered,” Mickelson said. “Charley played some great golf.”

Woods was pretty good and stayed at No. 1 for the 274th straight week.

He finished tied for 11th with a final-round 69, giving him three rounds in the 60s for the first time in a tournament this year. He was expected to be one of Pavin’s picks for the Ryder Cup, scheduled to be announced Tuesday.

“I figured something out today” about his putting, Woods said. “Once I got my speed dialed in, I was hitting it, and I think I one-putted the last seven holes, which is a good thing.”

Hoffman putted like a man hurrying to lift the winner’s trophy and finished at 22-under 262, matching the tournament record set by Vijay Singh in 2008.

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