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March 16, 2012

William McGirt


DOUG MILNE:¬† William McGirt, thanks for joining us after a successful couple of rounds here, you fine yourself T‑2 coming into the weekend coming off your career‑best finish last week in Puerto Rico and here you are at the Transitions Championship in great position for the weekend.¬† Just some comments on the two days and how you're feeling as we do head into the weekends.
WILLIAM McGIRT:  It was a pretty solid two days.  Drove it pretty well.  Hit my irons pretty well and made some putts.  Pretty simple recipe for good scoring.  You know, I felt like I left a few out there coming in, but two more days of golf and see what we can do.

Q.  Was Pádraig's score already up before you went out?  That happens all the time but do you look up and go, come on.
WILLIAM McGIRT:¬† We were on 8 green and I looked up and I think he was 7‑ or 8‑under through 12, and I looked at Brendon and started laughing and said, here we go again, another week where somebody goes out and shoots something crazy early.
But then we were‑‑ I think we were on 15 or 16 and we looked over and saw, he was 9‑under playing the last.¬† Then we heard a big roar and Brendon looks at me and says, there's 10.
So, yeah, I played well coming in just to get it to 5.¬† It's not too many times out here you shoot 5‑under the first round and get doubled up.¬† But we were walking up 18 fairway yesterday and I looked at Will Claxton, and I think we were second and third at the time.¬† And I said, "Well, one of us has to make birdie here so we can get best‑ball."¬† Will made birdie.¬† I told Paddy as soon as I saw him today, I said, "Hey, we clipped you best‑ball by one, so good playing."

Q.  Up against the World Golf Championships last week, the Puerto Rico event, it can kind of get lost in the shuffle.  What does a finish like that do for your confidence?
WILLIAM McGIRT:  Well, I played well all week.  Sunday I didn't make any putts.  But yeah, I still played very well and I took the confidence away from that tournament knowing that I was hitting it well.  I knew we were coming to some good greens this week, and you know, we worked on it early in the week and tried to get some stuff sorted out.
I feel like I hit good putts for two days.  I don't think I've hit maybe two or three bad putts in two days.  I rolled it really well.  Hit a lot of good putts coming in.  Greens were getting a little bumpy late in the day.  But you know, all you can do is hit a good one and whatever is going to happen is going to happen.  Once you hit it, it's out of your control.

Q.  As a southern boy, how excited were you to get east?
WILLIAM McGIRT:  Very.  Back on East Coast time now.  For some reason, being on the West Coast for so long, I still never adjusted.  I was still waking up at 4:30 every morning.  But you get back into some familiar territory and on grass that you are very familiar with; I grew up on bermuda, so you know, I kind of look forward to getting off the West Coast and getting back to the Florida Swing.

Q.¬† So you just ripped California.¬† (Laughter) Have you done anything mechanic‑wise putting in the last couple weeks?¬† Are you working on anything special?
WILLIAM McGIRT:¬† My left shoulder was going straight up through impact.¬† So I'm trying to feel like my left shoulder is going back more.¬† I'm trying to get the shoulders working more around my body instead of up‑and‑down.¬† That's all we worked on this week.

Q.  What do you like about this golf course?
WILLIAM McGIRT:¬† It's a shot‑maker's course.¬† I mean, there's so many different ways you can play every hole.¬† It fits my eye pretty well.¬† Now, that being said, there's six or eight really tough tee shots out here.¬† You know, the first hole is one of the hardest tee shots on the golf course just to hit the fairway.
And then the tee shot on 6 is really tough because it's a blind tee shot and you're never really sure where you're aiming.¬† You know, I think it's a great ball‑striker's course.¬† It's probably one of the top‑five we play on TOUR in my opinion.

Q.  When you say you were working with somebody on the putting, who did you work with this week?
WILLIAM McGIRT:¬† Just my caddie.¬† He has a pretty good eye for it.¬† He knows what my teacher and I have been working on, and you know, if push comes to shove, he'll the pull out his iPhone and take a video and I'll look at it.¬† If we can't figure it out, we'll e‑mail it to my teacher and he'll take a look at it and give us a call.¬† That's the great thing about technology these days.

Q.  Was there any part of you starting out, you have a nice start yesterday and you're doubled up, as you say, that was kind of cautiously looking at the board to see, what was Pádraig going to do next?  You can play well and all of a sudden, you're miles behind going into the weekend?
WILLIAM McGIRT:  But at the same time, you can't get caught up in what he's doing.  You still have to play your own game.  I kind of kept an eye on it all day to see what he was doing.  It's hard to back up a round like that.
What did he shoot today?¬† I don't even know.¬† 2‑over?¬† Well, it was one of those things where I was trying to keep the pedal down and make as many birdies as I could and move up as much as I could.¬† You know, I couldn't really get caught‑‑ it's not Sunday yet.¬† We haven't hit the back nine on Sunday to really start looking at it.¬† I'm one of the guys that always likes to know where I stand, whether it's in relation to the lead, in relation to the cut, whatever.¬† I look constantly.

Q.  Is your comfort level out here dramatically different than a year ago at this time?
WILLIAM McGIRT:  Absolutely.  I'm way more familiar with the golf courses.  Last year, I basically had one day to learn a new golf course every week.  This year, I've been able to go into practice rounds and know where I needed to be practicing from, what kind of shots I needed to be working on for a specific week.
Like this week, one thing I've really worked on on the range is hitting is a good cut off the tee with a driver for specifically No.6.  I know what I'm going into when I get to the course at the start of the week.
You know, last year, one thing I tried to do was play practice rounds with veteran guys, and I've played a lot of practice rounds with David Duval.  We would get on the green and he would throw balls around the green and say, you really need to practice from here; this is a popular spot; you really need to hit these putts.  Just being able to pick his brain and get some good info helped me a lot.  It's really probably paid off more this year than it did last year.

Q.¬† Have you played in a Pro‑Am yet?
WILLIAM McGIRT:  Wednesday; México and Puerto Rico.
DOUG MILNE:  Real quick, you started on 10, if you would run us through your birdies and bogeys and give us clubs and yards best you can recall.
WILLIAM McGIRT:  On 11 starting out, hit a great putt there from about 15 feet.
12, hit 6‑iron to ten feet and made it.
13, pulled it in the left bunker.  Hit a good bunker shot and had about nine or ten feet and went the other way on me.  I never saw any left in it and it went left.
Then rebounding on 14, hit a wedge in there to about five feet and made birdie.
16, I hit 6‑iron to about 25 feet, made birdie.
18, I hit 5‑iron to five feet and made birdie.
Almost chipped it in on 1 for eagle.
4, I don't know how I hit 6‑iron as far over the green as I did.¬† Kind of wind switch.
But then rebounded on 5.¬† Hit an L‑wedge in there about five feet.
7, hit what I thought was a good shot and a good chip, and had ten feet and just skirted the hole.

Q.  When is the last time you've been in this position going into the weekend?
WILLIAM McGIRT:  My first Nationwide event in 2010 down at Bogotá.  I was solo second going into the weekend with Tad Ridings.

Q.  How did that turn out?
WILLIAM McGIRT:  I finished tied for third.

Q.  Did you have Norfolk state over Missouri in your bracket?
DOUG MILNE:  Keep it up, appreciate your time.  Thank you.

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