On the Hot Seat: Brett Quigley
Brett Quigley can breathe easier. Originally slated to face Tiger Woods in the first round of this week's Accenture Match Play Championship, he has since moved up one slot and will instead meet world No. 2-ranked Jim Furyk.
It's a shame, really, considering all of Quigley's intense preparation for his match with Woods. "I went out and bought the Tiger Woods EA Sports golf [game]," he said recently. "I'm going to play it all week, so I can get used to beating him, so I'll know what it's like when I tee up on Wednesday."
|The Quigley file|
Birthdate: Aug. 18, 1969
Height: 5-foot-11 Weight: 160 pounds
Turned professional: 1991
Joined PGA Tour: 1997
Special interests: Surfing, reading, cars, motorcycles
It would have been fun for other reasons, too. They've got more in common than you might think. Woods is the tour's all-time leading money winner; Quigley owns that title of those who have never claimed a victory. Woods is willing to miss a major to see the birth of his first child; so is Quigley. And like he said, they've each investigated how their virtual golf swing compares to the real thing.
Before he heads to Tucson, Ariz., for the Match Play, we put Quigley on the Hot Seat to discuss all this and more.
Q: When was the last time you competed in the match play format?
A: That's a good question. Maybe the [Rhode Island] state amateur that I played in 1990. Other than that, I don't know, because I turned pro in 1991. I really don't remember. Obviously, I play a lot of stuff goofing around with friends at home, playing matches with them, playing matches with my dad and my uncle Dana, but as far as an official tournament, probably, yeah, 1990.
Q: I heard you had a tough semifinal opponent that week.
A: Yeah, I played my dad. I'm sure it was tough for him. I beat him pretty handily.
Q: You play a lot of golf with your dad and uncle in the offseason. Who usually winds up buying lunch?
A: Actually, most of our matches wind up tied and we have to go extra holes. By the time we get done, we're past lunch. I'd say this winter Dana and my dad beat my cousin Devon, Dana's son [a senior on the golf team at the University of Rhode Island], and I pretty handily. They beat us a bunch this winter. Dana was playing great and actually my dad was playing great, too.
A: There's no chance that I will match that streak. Ever. Not even in a dream.
Q: Is the streak cause for a lot of ribbing within the family?
A: Yeah, it kills me. Every time I take a week off, he just doesn't understand why I did it, or how I could possibly not want to play. I skipped the second tournament of the year, the Bob Hope, and he called me and thought something was wrong.
Q: You recently became the PGA Tour's all-time leading money-winner without a career victory. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
A: I think it's a good thing. It shows that I've played pretty darn well for, I guess, a long time. Obviously, winning is the No. 1 goal, but I certainly feel like I'm getting closer to doing that, so it's actually good because it keeps me motivated to win. But overall, I think it's a good thing.
Q: Did you receive a congratulatory phone call from Skip Kendall?
A: Did I take his title? He's probably happy to pass that one on [laughs]. No, I haven't seen him yet. I'll have to say something when I see him, though.
Q: In all seriousness though, where does earning your first victory rank on the list of career goals?
A: I'd say it's No. 1. It's actually my only goal of the year. There are a lot of things I need to do in order to do that, but it's big. My only goal of the year is to win a golf tournament on the PGA Tour.
Q: Did you know that no player whose last name begins with a "Q" has ever won a tour event?
A: Wow. Well, I know that's not true on the Champions Tour, because Dana's won about 10 times. So I guess I can change that and certainly Jeff Quinney's come close the last couple of weeks. The Qs are coming on strong.
Q: Were you nervous that Quinney was going to beat you to the punch a few weeks ago?
A: No, I figure if he can break the ice, then the floodgates will open. So I'm actually hoping he does it first [laughs].
Q: Tiger Woods has made a lot of headlines lately for saying he'd skip a major if his wife was giving birth that week. You're in a similar situation, aren't you?
A: Yes, I am. Amy is due eight days after Augusta is supposed to end. Hopefully, she'll make it all the way through, but if I need to go home during that week, I definitely will. It's tough, that will be my first Masters, but certainly the birth of my first child is much more important than that.
Q: And if the baby doesn't come before the Masters, will you be wearing a beeper around Augusta National, a la Phil Mickelson at the 1999 U.S. Open?
A: You know, I'll probably have people there who will have information on that. Actually, I'm pretty lucky. I just signed a deal with a new plane company called Talon Air, and they've told me they're going to have a plane ready for me to fly from Augusta to Jupiter [Florida] at a moment's notice, so that's pretty good timing for that.
|The field of 64|
|What does this year's Accenture Match Play Championship bracket look like? Check it out right here. Bracket|
A: I'm going home. I've got to see that baby come out. Hopefully, I won't pass out. I'll probably be more nervous in the delivery room than I would be in the last group at Augusta.
Q: Let's play a little Take Your Pick. Green jacket or Claret Jug?
A: Green jacket.
Q: Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus?
A: Tiger Woods.
Q: Were those guys a big influence to you, growing up as a Rhode Island guy?
A: Absolutely. I grew up caddying for Brad, and Brad actually grew up caddying for my dad. And Brad, Dana, my dad and I all went to the same high school [Barrington] and all had the same golf coach, so we all have a pretty special relationship. Obviously, we're good friends with Billy, but I think our bond's a little closer with Brad.
Q: That's it, Brett. You're off the Hot Seat.
A: Thank you very much, Jason.
Jason Sobel is ESPN.com's golf editor. He can be reached at Jason.Sobel@espn3.com.
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