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October 18, 2011

William McGirt


MARK STEVENS: I would like to welcome William McGirt. You're No. 138 on the Money List going into the final event of the season. You are used to the pressure as you advanced in the FedExCup at the Wyndham Championship, The Barclays, all the way to the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Tell us your thoughts coming into this week.
WILLIAM McGIRT: You know, I felt like I played pretty well last week. Just didn't get anything out of it. But, you know, one more week. Who knows. It's Disney. Magic happens here. See if we can't make more magic happen.
MARK STEVENS: Questions.

Q. (No microphone.)
WILLIAM McGIRT: Yeah, I mean, you know, all year seemed like I put myself behind the eight ball on Thursday and had to play well on Friday. Even the cuts that I missed, I missed a bunch of cuts by a shot, but I've given myself a chance.
Greensboro, you know, I didn't play all that well, but I played well enough. My back was firmly against the wall at Barclays. Only had one way to go, and that was up. Fortunately for me I played well.
Yeah, I mean, it's not a new position for me, so I just kind of embrace it and try to make the best of it.

Q. Talk about your approach to the change then. Do you become more aggressive? How does it affect the way that you play?
WILLIAM McGIRT: Well, I mean, I've assured myself of having top 150 status next year, so I'm going to go out and play aggressive all week. I think about the worst I can finish would be 142 roughly, so I'm going to have to finish I think - I figured up last night - probably solo 6 or 7 to finish top 125.
So, yeah, I'm going to have to play a lot more aggressive this week. The golf courses are playing long right now, so a lot 3-, 4-, and 5-irons in the holes. So hopefully I'll be hitting those well this week and make some putts. That's the name of the game every week out here, is making putts.
Hopefully I can get the putter working tomorrow with some good work and go from there. Yeah, I mean, I'm going to have to take some more chances this week. Some par-5s I'm going to have to try to squeeze it up there on.
Like I said, with 3-, 4-, 5-irons, I'm going to have to take more aggressive lines with those.

Q. What do you remember from going into Wyndham with your back against the wall? Was it a nervous time? Did you have nothing to lose? How did you kind of approach that?
WILLIAM McGIRT: Well, I mean, I was outside of 125, so I had to play well. But there again, I went into it just kind of embracing that opportunity. You know, tried to take full advantage of it and played well the first two days. Over the weekend I didn't really play very well. I guess I played well enough to advance.
But more than anything, I've embraced every opportunity this year. You can't look at it as, Oh, boy, I have to get it done right now. If I don't get it done this week, I still have finals of Q-School.
So it is nice to have that fallback position.

Q. And I was going to ask, being that the worst you can finish is 140-whatever then you would stay inside the top 150, compared to perhaps not being in the top 150 and having to deal with that type of pressure, how different is that?
WILLIAM McGIRT: Well, I mean, if you're not going to finish 125 or better, you want to finish as high up in that 126 to 150 category as you can. It's not an easy situation to be in, but it is what it is. All I can do is try to make the most of it.
You know, at least having that fallback option of Q-School makes it a little bit easier. The thing is, I know I'm going to get somewhere like 10 to 15 starts next year. Seems like every year there is one or two guys out of this category that end up winning. There is life.

Q. (No microphone.)
WILLIAM McGIRT: Yeah, I mean, bottom of the seventh in Game 7. Time to get it done, you know. I mean...

Q. (No microphone.)
WILLIAM McGIRT: Well, I mean, maybe bottom of the eighth. (Laughter.) At least I have finals of Q-School.
And this tournament is not over. Hasn't even started. I do have this week. But it is what it is. Let's embrace it and see what we can do with it.

Q. At the top of the Money List, how closely are you following Webb and Luke Donald?
WILLIAM McGIRT: You know, I've watched it a little bit. I've known Webb since I was, gosh, three or four years old. I'm kind of pulling for him because I've known him forever. I can remember when I was playing junior tournaments when I was 15, 16 years old and I think Webb was 8 or 9. In typical 8 or 9 year old fashion, there wasn't a putt that couldn't be made.
I would always kid him on the putting green. When are you going to give me a putting lesson? He tried to help me, but obviously I didn't pay attention. (Laughter.) I mean, since I've known him he's been one of those kids that you just look at and you go, This is something special.
To top it off, he's one of the best guys you're ever going to meet. His whole family. His parents are first class people. They don't come much better than Webb. I'm pulling hard for him. I was hoping he would win last week and go ahead and make it really difficult. But, you know, there again, he's got another chance this week to play well and make it happen himself.

Q. It if it comes down to a vote and it's a mix between he and Luke, which I think right now most people would think it would be those guys, would players be more likely to vote for Webb because he's American on an American tour? Can you evaluate that?
WILLIAM McGIRT: Honestly, I hadn't even thought about that. It's one of those things I think you look at it at the end of the year as who had the best year, not necessarily where somebody's from, or, you know, he only played 15 events over here and this guy played 22 events.
I look at it as who had the best year. It would be hard to vote against Luke. I mean, how many Top 10s has he had this year? I heard a stat he had like 12 or 13 Top 10s in 15 events. That's kind of hard to vote against right there.
But at the same, Webb has won twice; two playoffs and called a penalty on himself. You know, I mean he conceivably could have won five golf tournaments this year. That's awful hard to vote against, too.
You know, when it comes time to vote, I don't know what guys are going to look at there.

Q. (No microphone.)
WILLIAM McGIRT: Yeah, I mean, and that's the thing. I mean, I know what I think, but when it comes to the membership as a whole, I mean, who knows? I mean, that's just one of those things that when you get the ballot and the pen out you sit there and stare at that ballot for a while, you know, I don't know how guys are going to go.
Be a nice to be to have, though. (Laughter.)
MARK STEVENS: Okay. Thanks for your time. Have a good week.

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