Athletes don’t compete to come in second place. The goal is always to win.
But runner-up isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
William McGirt is pretty pleased with his second-place tie over the weekend at the RBC Canadian Open. The Back9Network brand ambassador turned in a 13-under at Glen Abbey Golf Course, putting him three strokes behind Brandt Snedeker with three other guys (Dustin Johnson, Jason Bohn, Matt Kuchar). That not only gave McGirt his biggest payday of the year ($369,600), it also secured him a berth in the 2013 FedEx Cup playoffs and a PGA Tour card for 2013-14.
McGirt partnered with Back9 in January because he saw it as a “good opportunity for me to help build my brand.” He’s also good friends with Back9 contributor John Maginnes, a former PGA Tour pro, and likes the relationship the network has built with people like Matt Adams, another Back9 contributor who also hosts the “Fairways of Life” show on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio. “It was kind of easy to trust what (Back9Network was) doing,” McGirt said.
As he was getting ready to take his young son, Cameron, in for his six-month checkup, McGirt spoke with us about his performance in Canada, what it means for his career, and what song keeps chasing him around.
You placed second for the second straight year at the Canadian Open. What is it about Canada?
The Toronto area seems to be pretty good to me. I’ve actually been kind of superstitious. We’ve eaten at the same restaurant (Bean Bar in Hamilton, Ontario) every night that we’ve been there, except for the first night each week – last year and this year. And my wife (Sarah) and I both have had the same entrée every night. I don’t know that we’re superstitious but we’re very careful.
How big is a performance like that for your career?
When you’re on the bubble with only a couple tournaments to play, you’ve got to play well. But I gave myself a chance to win the golf tournament and I’ve done it a few years in a row. Last year I was tied for the lead playing the last hole of the golf tournament, and unfortunately made bogey. But I accomplished my goal at the start of the week, which was, last year, (to get in the FedEx Cup) playoffs and to keep my tour card. And it was the same goals this week. I had a chance to win the golf tournament at the end of the week and got both goals accomplished. It’s very satisfying.
Does that take a bit of pressure off?
Absolutely. What it does is it lets me take this week and next week off, allow me to rest and relax and recoup from the stress. I’ve played six weeks in a row, so I needed a little break.
You said you’re not superstitious, but do you have any specific songs you listen to prior to an event or when you’re working out?
Actually, there’s one where it seems every time I get in the car that I hear, and it’s been that way for the last, probably, two or three weeks. It’s “Driving Around Song” by Colt Ford. Colt’s a good buddy of mine and I text him, I was like, “I keep hearing your fat ass on the radio.” …He called me (Sunday) night to say congrats, and he’s just a good old guy. He used to play golf for a living, so to see him out there singing now is a little bit different, but he’s a good guy.
With all the time you spend on the road, do you watch a lot of movies?
I don’t have enough attention span to sit through a movie, so no. We’ve probably seen three movies in the three years I’ve been on the tour. I just can’t sit still that long and I’ll fall asleep.
Related Link: 5 Notes from RBC Canadian Open