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September 29, 2011

William McGirt


MARK STEVENS: William McGirt, nice round, bogey-free round to get to 8-under and tied for the lead affidavit first round. I know you've been here since maybe last week practicing, getting to know the course. Talk about the course and your round today.
WILLIAM McGIRT: Yeah, I came in last Sunday after Boise and Brandon, my caddie, flew in on Thursday. So got plenty of rounds in. Had a chance to work on the greens a little bit but the greens are a lot firmer and faster than they were last week. But we were just trying to get used to the ball flying again, because you have to hit it farther out here, especially the warmer it gets. We kind of got onto that pretty quickly.
And then like I said, just trying to get comfortable on the greens, and I think we were dead-on all day with most of our reads. Starting out, I left -- like the first five holes, I made it on 1, but 2, 3, 4, I left it kind of right in the heart short, just a fraction. But all in all it was just a good, solid day.
MARK STEVENS: You worked your way into the first couple of Playoff events in the FedExCup this year, and now you find yourself trying to work your way into the Top-125 on the Money List. What are your thoughts on that?
WILLIAM McGIRT: Well, as far as the Money List goes, I'm just trying to play my best and let it take care of itself. If I sit here and think about it like I did with the FedExCup, I'm just going to drive myself crazy, because that's pretty much what I did for the last month before the FedExCup.
I'm trying to go back and draw off the experiences that I had in the FedExCup. Playing with Pádraig the first tournament, and just -- I tried to learn from every single person I've played with this year and I feel like I learned a good bit from him, just watching how he goes about it. You know, just trying to keep the hammer down and make as many birdies as we can. I know we are going to have to go low this week, so going to have to make plenty more.

Q. Do you think that 8-under was attainable, given the course conditions, because they kind of tried to spruce up the rough and make it a little tougher on you guys, and like you said, the greens are a little firmer, a little faster than when you were playing a week ago. What were your thoughts about that, and are you a little surprised that you were able to putt up -- anyone put up a big number like that today?
WILLIAM McGIRT: Well, the greens are rolling so nicely. If you get it online, it's going in. They have got a little beat up this afternoon, but it seemed like all of my birdie putts were inside of ten feet. So you were able to kind of keep them online. But as far as the golf course goes, I mean, you know every year what it is out here.
My first trip around it, I looked at it and I was like, wow, I don't see 25-, 26-under out on this golf course. But the rough isn't that bad. They kind of topped it early in the week or last weekend. You can get some pretty bad lies out there, but all in all, it's not too bad.
But when I missed fairways today, I was just barely -- I was in the first cut a lot, or like the ball I had on the first hole, it couldn't have been -- I couldn't have put it on a tee and had a better lie. It's just hit or miss as to what you get when you drive it in the rough.

Q. Was the key today to be bogey-free, just being consistent with everything you did, drive the ball, your approaches into the green, and making putts; was it that simple?
WILLIAM McGIRT: Well, I didn't start out driving it all that well. I think No. 3 and No. 9 were the only two fairways on front I hit with a driver. I hit No. 7 with a 3-wood but then on the back nine I started driving it a lot better.
The key was iron shots. You know, like I said, I had a lot of 15-footers and in today. You know, I missed the green left on 8, the long par 3, and had about a 10-footer for par there, and I made it.
And 11 I drove it in the rough there and had a so-so lie and caught a jumper, and it ran all the way to the back of the green and I left it about five or six feet short but I made it.
Those are really the only two chances I had at making bogey today.

Q. The guys are saying that this is your first time leading a tournament?

Q. Tell me what the feeling is like as you left the scorer's tent and saw your name at the top with Jhonattan.
WILLIAM McGIRT: It's a cool feeling. I haven't been in this position before. I was I think one back at The Barclays after the first day. But I'm just trying to not look at the leaderboard.
I mean, it really doesn't matter, now till Saturday; Sunday is the only time it really matters, so I'm just trying to play my best and see what happens.

Q. You just said you don't look at the leaderboard, but obviously you knew about Nathan Green's score earlier. Was that something that you were shooting at, a number like that?
WILLIAM McGIRT: I really didn't set a number. I was just trying to make as many birdies as I could. Like I said, it really -- Thursday through Saturday, all you're doing is jockeying for position so that you can make a move on Sunday.
I knew there was 7-under posted before I even teed off, so you knew it was out there and it was just a matter of staying aggressive and making some putts.

Q. Just wanted to ask you, there's a heck of a lot of guys behind you and Jhonattan, if you're kind of close -- for you to be in this position, knowing that if you don't play your best golf, you'll still be in the race, is that helpful when you tee off tomorrow morning knowing that you've given yourself an opportunity?
WILLIAM McGIRT: Yeah, I know that I'm in a good position heading into the next three days. It's just a matter of putting today behind me and moving forward. Everybody says it's so hard to follow up a 63, because I think the main thing is, you're trying to shoot it again the next day, and you really don't see guys go out and shoot 63 two days in a row.
But like I said, tomorrow we are going out with the same game plan that we had today; fairways, greens, stay aggressive and hopefully make some putts.
MARK STEVENS: Thank you.

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