DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) – William McGirt won for the first time on the PGA Tour with a playoff victory in the Memorial that earned him an audience with Jack Nicklaus and a spot in the U.S. Open.
McGirt won in his 165th start on the tour. He played bogey-free the final round for a 1-under 71, two-putting from 65 feet to get into a playoff with Jon Curran, who closed with a 70.
They finished at 15-under 273.
McGirt won with a par on the second extra hole at No. 18, getting up-and-down from the rough behind the green by holing a putt just outside 6 feet. He will move into the top 50 in the world. He is assured of staying in the top 60 next week to qualify for the Open.
DUBLIN, Ohio (Wofford SID) – Wofford College graduate William McGirt ’01 defeated Jon Curran on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the 2016 Memorial Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
McGirt becomes the first Terrier in program history to win on the PGA Tour. The Wofford Hall of Famer claimed his first TOUR title in his 165th start at age 36 years, 11 months and 15 days. The victory earns McGirt $1.53 million, 500 FedEx Cup points, a three-year exemption on the PGA Tour and exemption into the 2017 Masters Tournament.
McGirt – the 2001 Southern Conference champion – shot a bogey-free, final-round 1-under-par 71 to force the playoff. Curran and McGirt finished the round 15-under for the tournament.
On the first playoff hole, McGirt’s tee shot found the right rough and his approach wound up in the front-left bunker. However, just as he had done all day, McGirt scrambled to save par. He flew his bunker shot to the back of the green and used the slope to stop the ball within a few feet. He tapped in to force the second playoff hole.
Once more, McGirt and Curran went back to the 18th tee box. This time, McGirt’s tee shot found the fairway, but both he and Curran flew the green on the approach. After Curran’s third ran well past the hole, McGirt stepped up and hit a high flop shot to within seven feet. Curran missed the long putt, leaving McGirt seven feet for par and his first PGA Tour victory, and he buried it.
McGirt joins David Lingmerth (2015), Hideki Matsuyama (2014) and Justin Rose (2010) to have made the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide their maiden victory on TOUR.
McGirt got into contention thanks to a third-round, 8-under 64 on Saturday. He carded an eagle and seven birdies to jump more than 30 spots up the leaderboard and into a share of the lead at 14-under. He maintained that lead all the way through Sunday’s final round.