Afraid to look, McGirt likes what he sees on leaderboard

Will Mc Girt tips his hat after finishing on the 18th hole during the first round for the Masters golf tournament Thursday

Will Mc Girt tips his hat after finishing on the 18th hole during the first round for the Masters golf tournament Thursday

William McGirt started the day four shots behind Hoffman and offset two bogeys with a pair of birdies before dropping another shot at the 18th to slip to two under.

McGirt won the Memorial Tournament past year - his first PGA Tour win - which earned him a spot in the Masters.

McGirt, in his Masters debut, challenged the myth that experience matters at Augusta as the American journeyman grinded out a three-under 69, four strokes back of leader Charley Hoffman.

"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. "I'm not the guy that's going to stand out there and try to hit it over the trees on 13", he said.

"And he walks over, and we're literally nose to nose, and he says, "OK, spill the beans".

"The whole time, I'm saying, 'Look, I get your point". You've just got to understand where I'm coming from.' We go back and forth a little bit.

McGirt explained it was the first time he had a chance to win on tour and he was afraid of messing it up.

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"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".

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

According to ESPN's Jason Sobel, while McGirt played on mini-tours, he was invited to play at Augusta National, but always turned down the opportunity, waiting until he qualified for the most prestigious tournament. Asked for an estimate, McGirt smiled broadly.

"[He] walks over and says something to me; I appreciate it".

He was up early for the ceremonial tee shot and admitted to giving his credit card a workout at the Masters merchandise shop. I didn't want to get caught leaderboard watching and basically screw it up'.

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