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June 4, 2016

William McGirt

Dublin, Ohio

Q. Would you say you tamed it today? How would you describe it?
WILLIAM McGIRT: I wouldn't say I tamed it. It was a good solid golf all the way around. Hit a lot of good shots and a lot of good putts. I felt like I left two out there with the three-putts on 7 and 16, but all in all, it was a pretty darn solid day.

Q. Scoring conditions just the same?
WILLIAM McGIRT: Scoring conditions were very good. Very little wind. Greens seemed a little bit softer than they were yesterday afternoon. Perfect speed for making putts.

I've been a little bit surprised, with the scores the first two days, that Jack didn't give them a little pep today, but we might see that tomorrow.

Q. You've made five straight cuts. Do you like where your game is right now?
WILLIAM McGIRT: Yeah, that's something we worked on hard over the last year. It was a year ago this week that I started working with John Tillery, and we've made a lot of changes and a lot of progress with my golf swing. Consistency was something I was looking for. I feel like I've picked up a little bit of distance with it, but the consistency factor's been the biggest thing.

Q. You might have a pretty great opportunity to be in one of the last groups, maybe the last group tomorrow. We'll see how it works. How does that excite you, motivate you to have that opportunity?
WILLIAM McGIRT: My biggest thing right now is I want to win a golf tournament. Don't really care which one it is. I just want to win a golf tournament. But to have a chance to win here at Jack's place would be extra special.

For me personally, Hilton Head or Charlotte would be -- or Greensboro, those three, would be like the ultimate win for me, being that I grew up in North Carolina, for Greensboro and Charlotte, and live in South Carolina now with Hilton Head. But it would be pretty darn special to win at Jack's place or Arnie's place.

Q. An early start tomorrow. Does that change the way you kind of handle overnight and get going tomorrow?
WILLIAM McGIRT: No. My 6-month-old has been cutting teeth this week. So sleep has not been very abundant. It's one of those things I'd rather have my family here with me and deal with stuff like that than trying to do the long distance thing. I hate the weeks that they're not out there with me. It's so much more fun. You get to experience everything.

When my son was born, I was gone for seven weeks. I left, he was four days old, and I was gone for seven weeks. So that's been -- having her travel pretty much from day one. I mean, I was home from November through Christmas, and right after Christmas, we went to Scottsdale. But they've been with me pretty much the whole time. They've only missed maybe three tournaments.

So to sit there and watch my son continue to grow up and my little girl grow up has been extra special. I can deal with lack of sleep or whatever, just to spend that extra family time.

Q. William, you posted the best round of your career here yesterday, and today you bested that by four strokes. I mean, did you come into this weekend with a different mindset than you have in your other tournaments, or has it just been business as usual?
WILLIAM McGIRT: Not really. I just think my game's in a little better place right now, number one. Number two is I've played enough here to kind of learn the golf course, learn where to hit it, more importantly where not to hit it.

It's like the shot on the last hole, I was scared to death of the back bunker, and I knew if the wind died, it was getting in that back bunker, and I kind of chickened out on it, but I knew the front right bunker was fine. So it worked out fine. A year or two ago, who knows? I might have gone ahead and sent it in that back bunker and made 5, 6, 7, who knows? I think learning the golf course and knowing how to approach it is pretty key out here.

Q. Will, you talked about trying to get that first win. Do you sort of feel like you're due, like it's your time to finally win one of these?
WILLIAM McGIRT: Well, I mean, I'd like to think so. But, no, this game owes you nothing. I feel like I've put myself in position a few times, and it's one of those things where you kind of have to screw it up a couple of times before you learn. I feel like every time I've been in this position I've learned something. So hopefully, tomorrow, if I can make it work out, it would be good.

Q. What have you learned in those times?
WILLIAM McGIRT: The biggest thing is how my body reacts. When I get going like that, everything speeds up. So I have to consciously take long, slow, deep breaths, slow my walk down, to try to control my heart rate because I just want to go.

It's like today, Jonesy and I, if we'd have been the first group out, we'd have played in about two hours. Neither one of us waste a whole lot of time. So you kind of learn your tendencies under the gun too. I know that my miss is probably going to be right, so if I feel it coming on, just aim a little more left and play it. It's not -- it's one of those things that you kind of have to dance with the gorilla that brung you. You can't try to fix it midround. If you're hitting a slap cut all day, don't sit there and try to draw it. So that's been the biggest thing for me.

Q. Of all the chances you've had, which one aggravated you the most and why?
WILLIAM McGIRT: There's two of them really.

Q. Pick (indiscernible) one.
WILLIAM McGIRT: All of them then, okay. Canada in 2012, looking back at it now, it kind of aggravates me because I never looked at a leaderboard. And Tiger and I had a discussion at the PGA that year -- well, it wasn't really a discussion. It was more of a here's what you need to do and you're an idiot for not doing it. Okay, thanks.

But Mississippi last fall, I played so bad the first day, but I put myself in position the last day, and I still can't believe the putt missed on the last hole. I've watched it a hundred times, and it looked better from where I was standing than it did on TV. It never looked like it could miss.

Riv a couple years ago, that's another one I just played average on Sunday, could never get anything going. It seemed like it was bad numbers all day, dead in between clubs, and a couple of shots out there that I'm just not comfortable with.

And it's kind of the same way out here. There's two or three shots that I just don't like. Tee shot on 17 and 18 all week's given me trouble. Finally hit 18 today, but I stood up there and tried to hit a cut up against the wind and hammered one inside the bunkers, and it ended up perfect.

17 for some reason, the cross-bunker just throws my eyes for a loop. I can't pick a target and can't commit to it there. But it is what it is.

Q. When you come close like that for so long on that one, will you have to fight that mentally tomorrow?
WILLIAM McGIRT: I don't think so. It's not -- it's not like I've been expected to come out here and win six times a year like Jordan or somebody. We get used to watching what Tiger did, what Jordan's done, what Jason's done. Nobody's ever expected that of me. I mean, I've expected better play out of myself, but you guys aren't writing articles every day about me. So it's fine. I kind of like that.

Q. People look at the close calls as negatives. Did it take you a while to learn that those are positives?
WILLIAM McGIRT: It takes you a little while to see the positives in what you've done. You know, you look back and think about just how well you played to put yourself in that position because, I mean, it's not easy to win out here, and against a field like this, it's even tougher.

So you have to go back and actually pat yourself on the back for how well you have played just to put yourself in that position. Now, if you don't get it done -- I mean, sometimes a guy goes out and shoots 63 and beats you. Sometimes you go out and shoot 75 and hand it to him. It just is what it is. But you can't beat yourself up too bad in this game because every week there's only one winner. So there's 155 losers most weeks. There will be 119 losers this week. So it's kind of hard to beat yourself up too bad over that.

Q. You naturally play fast. So when you try to slow it down, does that just feel a little weird?
WILLIAM McGIRT: Very. I grew up playing with my grandfather and his friends, and if you posed on a shot, you saw the cart riding past you, and you had to run and catch up. So I'll take my time on the greens, but most of the officials will tell you 15, 20 seconds on any other shot, and that's about it for me.

Q. How do you know then when you're going to be fast? Are you just taking five seconds on every shot?
WILLIAM McGIRT: No. I just see how far ahead I am on everybody walking. That's the biggest thing. I just get out there, and it's like speed walking. I'll get to the ball, and Brandon will be 50 yards behind me. That's when I go, okay, it's time to slow down. His walk never changes.

One of the best things about him is you can't look at him and tell if I'm 8 under or 8 over. His demeanor never changes, and that's been really good for me because I've always been one to ride the roller coaster emotionally. So it's been a huge help for me.

And he'll flat tell me sometimes, hey, slow down. He'll snag me off the tee and go, here, here's your drink. You need to drink it right here. Just something to kind of break that fast pace that I like to get going.

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