In the Winner's Circle (again) with Tyler McCumber
August 08, 2018
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- Tyler McCumber will look to win in back-to-back-to-back weeks when he tees it up at the ATB Financial Classic. (Claus Andersen/PGA TOUR)
For the first time in the PGA TOUR-era of the Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada, someone won back-to-back weeks, as Tyler McCumber captured the Syncrude Oil Country Championship presented by AECON by two shots.
He held a share of the 54-hole lead before shooting a sizzling 8-under-par 63 Sunday to win his second event of the year, and he did it on a golf course his father – 10-time TOUR winner Mark McCumber – designed.
This week, McCumber heads to Calgary for the ATB Financial Classic to try to make it three-in-a-row (on a golf course where he’s finished T-6 and T-2 the last two years, no less).
But first, he spent a few minutes with PGATOUR.COM chatting about what got into him in the Albertan mountains, how he managed to put the pedal down for the second tournament in a row, and what special trick his father taught him for eating on the road.
So, what got into you during your trip to Banff before the tournament last week?
(Laughs) That time away was good, so you can then have the confidence and momentum to pick it up in five days. I went to the Monday Qualifier for the Canadian Open and lost in a playoff on the second hole, so I stayed in Toronto Monday night and flew out Tuesday to Banff (McCumber told PGATOUR.COM in an interview last week that he hiked and stayed in a hostel for a few days before going to Edmonton). A couple days rest was good. Right when I got back to Edmonton, I played in the Pro-Am on Monday and Tuesday, so I got some reps in and I was good to go.
Does that mean you’re going to head right back to Banff if you win this week, too?
I feel like I kind of have to, don’t I? (Laughs) Actually I’ve been on the road … after next week it will be 12 weeks without being home. I’m going to go back to Jacksonville for a week and then down to Miami to work with my coach for a few days before going back East.
What was it about last week’s golf course that got you going?
I had been playing pretty solid all week, and on Sunday my cousin Josh caddied for me and we were at dinner Saturday night and we were like, ‘well, we’re only tied for the lead, we gotta play like we’re behind.’ The conditions and the weather were going to be fine. We found out we were playing lift, clean and place on Sunday so that was another element we didn’t know about. We knew people would be going low, being aggressive and coming after us, so our game plan was to get out there and stay aggressive. Keep hitting drivers, keep trying to hit as many wedges into holes, and try to make as many birdies as we could. The goal was to get to 20-under and keep going, if that was achieved early. To get to 20-plus under was the goal.
Did you ask your dad anything specific on Saturday night?
I didn’t ask him anything specific about the golf course because he was covering the World Golf Championship in Ohio for DirectTV. He was limited on when he could talk because his coverage went to 7 or 8 at night. I spoke with him briefly. It was just encouragement. Telling me to go out there and stay positive.
Still pretty neat to pull that off on a course he designed?
It was fun. It was a good experience for sure.
What is it about Calgary that works well for you? Is it the vibes or that mountain air again?
I’ve played here the last couple years and I have played well. I don’t really check numbers, but I’ve played well on this course. It suits a good ball-striking round and we’ve had some iffy weather the last couple years here… it’s been a mixture of a good golf course and tougher elements, that has been a good combo for me here. I do like the course. It suits my eye really well and I’ve usually come from Banff or the mountains, so I guess it is something here (laughs).
Growing up, you didn’t really play much golf correct?
I was a big baseball player. I was strictly baseball and surfing until I was about 13, I didn’t play any golf. Then I got into it.
But now you’re long past that and you’re on top of the money list, with the Web.com Tour in your sights. Have your objectives changed for the rest of the season?
Honestly, the objective is to keep winning. Having done it the last two weeks, it just gives you a lot of confidence and a lot of momentum knowing you can do it. Deep down I always feel like I could win, I think that’s part of our responsibility and job as professional golfers to know we can win tournaments. If you don’t feel like that, you probably shouldn’t be doing it. I do think it’s good momentum … it’s good confidence going into these next few events. You don’t loosen the reigns, you don’t do anything different. Referencing that final round last week, whether I won the week before or not, I was still going to try to come out and be aggressive - there was a job to be done. Anything I’ve done up to now is kind of irrelevant, I’m going to keep the pedal down and keep trying to win. If it’s possible, then keep pulling away as far as you can. There’s never too far, I think that’s where you have to be in your mind. You have to play like you’re behind.
One more thing on your dad: he taught you a neat trick with respect to using a hotel iron to make a grilled cheese sandwich a few years ago. Have you actually tried it?
Oh yeah, I’ve done it. I kind of did it just to do it, but I’ve done it (laughs). There have been stretches down in South America where there weren’t any good restaurants where we’re staying and there just wasn’t anything available and I wanted a snack, so you get the aluminum foil and you get the iron on the foil and you’re good. It comes out good. It’s not like Wolfgang Puck grill status, but it’s pretty solid.
It’ll do in a pinch?