McGirt making move at Augusta, top players eye leader Hoffman

Posted April 09, 2017

The tournament debutant shot a second-round 73 to reach the clubhouse at two under par for the tournament and was two adrift of leader Charley Hoffman, who at one stage was eight under for the tournament only to card five bogeys in six holes before recovering with a birdie at 13 to sit at four under.

"I was not upset to see it blowing", admitted McGirt, who mixed four birdies with a single bogey.

"The wind caught that putt just enough to get it to the left edge and spin out", McGirt said. The American recalled telling Tiger Woods how he had not looked at the scoreboards when finishing second at an event in 2012.

"When you're going through that", McGirt said of his struggles after posting a surprisingly solid 69, "you don't know if this moment will ever happen".

McGirt had an even better comeback for that one.

McGirt's wedge play was a huge key to Friday's round, starting on No. 2. As tough as the conditions have been, McGirt said he was pulling for more of the same over the weekend even though forecasts call for more ideal conditions.

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He couldn't resist getting up early to watch Nicklaus and Gary Player hit the ceremonial tee shots, either.

A slow and steady approach proved to be appropriate on a day when punishing winds baffled numerous world's best.

According to Sobel, McGirt has been taking in the entire Masters experience.

"It's pretty cool to get to play the weekend in your first Masters", said McGirt, who is vying to become the first Masters rookie to win the green jacket since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979.

"If it continues to do that this afternoon, I think the course will play tougher today than yesterday".

That first win a year ago came at the Memorial, the kind of course that host Jack Nicklaus told McGirt earlier this week would prepare him well for his first Masters. "There's been years and years, ever since I've been on tour, that I didn't know if this moment would ever happen". I tried to do everything I could to prepare myself, but I was very calm today.