The words of Tiger Woods can certainly be used to help motivate a player. Apparently, he has that effect even when he’s offering a seemingly innocuous comment.
Bronson Burgoon was paired with Woods in Sunday’s final round of the Quicken Loans National and held his own, closing in 3-under 67 to tie for sixth. It came, too, with a closing birdie, one which may not have happened without something Woods said.
As Burgoon relayed Wednesday evening on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, he and Woods got into a discussion right before the round finished.
The topic of the British Open came up in the chat, and that was important with four spots in the major – via the Open Qualifying Series – being up for grabs out of the Quicken Loans National based on high finishers there not already exempt into Carnoustie.
Once the topic of the Open arose, the discussion proved to be tremendously productive for Burgoon…
“Tiger and I were sitting on the 18th tee, and – that sounds weird even saying it – I asked him, ‘What’s up next for you?’ And he goes, ‘The British (Open).’ And right when he said that, I go, Wait a second, they’re giving exemptions away for the British this week. And I looked at the scoreboard and I saw that I needed to make a birdie. And that last hole that was my only objective, was to make a birdie to get into the British. I ended up making a birdie and it worked out for me.”
Well, that couldn’t have gone any better. Burgoon’s closing birdie pushed him to that T-6 and indeed earned him the final of four British Open spots out of the Quicken Loans National.
As it turned out on the final leaderboard, Burgoon was right that he needed birdie. The Open spots went to the four leading players at Quicken Loans not already exempt as long as said players finished in the top 12 and ties.
A par would’ve given Burgoon a tie for seventh, but he wouldn’t have been one of the four leading players not already exempt. He would’ve been tied for that fourth spot with Andrew Landry, who by virtue of his higher world ranking as a tiebreaker would’ve been given the fourth and final spot over Burgoon.
So what a series of events this was.
Side note: Poor Landry. Burgoon birdies to beat him out for a British Open spot nine years after hitting a spectacular wedge in a tight NCAA Championship final match against Landry to secure Texas A&M a national title over Arkansas.
Could Burgoon have made birdie without this random thought of the Open popping into his head via Woods? Absolutely.
We’ll never truly know if the Open suggestion changed the course of whether Burgoon would go on to make birdie or not. But at the very least, the comment seemed to focus him on a task that he had been unaware of before.
So there’s a good chance Woods’ words accidentally did help.
“I didn’t even think about it the entire day until I asked him that question, and he goes, ‘British,'” Burgoon said on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio. “And I was like, ‘Huh, maybe me too.’ ”
Yes, you too, Bronson. See you at Carnoustie.