PGA TourNovember 10, 2015

Why William McGirt is thankful for Tiger Woods calling him "an idiot"

William McGirt came up just short of winning his first PGA Tour title on Monday at the Sanderson Farms Championship. One person he won't be blaming? Tiger Woods.

McGirt did an interview with Golf Channel in which he explained how the 14-time major champ got him to adjust his strategy when he's in contention. McGirt explained he didn't look at leader boards on the back nine, to which Woods said, "You're an idiot." A bit harsh, perhaps, but Woods' words stuck with McGirt -- and he's thankful for that.

Here's a transcript of McGirt telling the story:

“I was telling the story on the putting green at the PGA at Kiawah [later] that year, and I told Joe LaCava (Tiger's caddie) that I had never looked at a leaderboard on the back nine and that it was my only regret,” McGirt said. “Tiger was hitting putts and he looked straight up, and he said, ‘What?’

“He walks over and we’re basically nose to nose, and he says, ‘OK, spill the beans.’

“I told him it was basically my first time in that situation on Tour and that I didn’t really want to screw it up by looking at leaderboards. So, we had a nice little conversation, and he goes, ‘You’re an idiot.’”

“I took that [advice] and kind of learned from it,” McGirt said. “The few times I have been in contention since then, I’ve stared the leader boards down. I want to know what I have to do."

It hasn't translated into a maiden victory yet, but with three runner-ups, McGirt is getting close. Maybe McGirt would have been better off if Woods had said, "Just win, stupid," instead.


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