Until four years ago, he couldn't bring himself to even look at a leaderboard.
Sergio Garcia charged into a share of the clubhouse lead with overnight leader Charley Hoffman in the second round of the U.S. Masters on Friday to boost his hopes of a maiden major title. Still, McGirt doesn't expect sleep to come easy.
"I don't know that you could write this in a script and have it any better, unless you had a 10-shot lead", McGirt said after his round. "There's been years and years, ever since I've been on tour, that I didn't know if this moment would ever happen". "Let's get this thing to the house without hurting ourselves". He qualified after finishing second by a shot earlier at the Canadian Open.
I'm on the putting green, Tiger comes out, [caddie] Joe LaCava comes out. "I'm not the kind of guy that's going to go out and shoot a ton of 62s and 63s, but I'm going to go out and shoot a lot of 68s and 69s, and over the course of the year, I think that's going to do pretty well".
"And he walks over, and we're literally nose to nose, and he says, "OK, spill the beans". Woods had a comeback ready.
McGirt had a comeback of his own.
"The whole time, I'm saying, 'Look, I get your point".
"The wind caught that putt just enough to get it to the left edge and spin out", McGirt said. Finally he looks at me and says, 'OK.
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And that wasn't even his best one of the round.
"I said, 'Hey, at least we can agree on something.' But it was very helpful".
"He probably doesn't realise how much he actually helped me by making that comment", added McGirt."It's something that I've remained conscious of since".
McGirt's wedge play was a huge key to Friday's round, starting on No. 2.
He followed some of his old routines, out of habit, like spending a fortune in the merchandise store.
"I'm scared to look, honestly", he said to laughter.
Hoffman, who hit four consecutive birdies from the 14th to take early control of the opening major tournament of 2017, said: "I made nice long putts on 14 and 15, then I hit it close on 16, 17 and had a look on 18 to make it five in a row but lacked a little steam".
Masters rookie Jon Rahm (70), one of the pre-tournament favorites given his recent form, was a further shot back along with American Ryan Moore (69).