MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fairmont native William McGirt closed with a 4-under-par 66 — the day’s third best score — to vault up the leaderboard on Sunday and finish in a tie for 32nd in the PGA Tour’s FedEx St. Jude Classic.
McGirt, who finished the tournament at one under par after rounds of 73, 66, 74 and 66, won $28,841 to push his earnings to $681,624 for the year, good for 98th on the money list. He earned 34 FedEx Cup points and now stands 89th on that all-important list, well within the top 125 threshold for advancement to the PGA Tour’s playoffs.
McGirt, who was five over par for the tournament during the second round and in danger of missing the cut, opened his final round with a bogey on No. 10 and then made six birdies and a single bogey the rest of the way. He had 18 birdies for the tournament.
McGirt is off this weekend as he did not qualify for the U.S. Open, which is being played at Pinehurst No. 2.
Ben Crane snapped a three-year winless streak even though he didn’t card a single birdie during this final round. His 2-over-par 73, however, was enough as he began play on Sunday with a four-stroke lead..
He guessed he slept fewer than three hours before the tournament’s last day, when he faced playing 30 holes because of all the rain delays in the tournament.
“I (was) just so nervous, so excited, so thrilled that my game has come around,” Crane said. “I did a lot of praying, lot of thanking God for some fun days.”
Crane was able to complete his wire-to-wire victory for a one-shot victory over Troy Merritt. Crane began the week at No. 150 in the FedEx Cup, with just one top 25 in 16 starts and left Memphis 41st in the season-long race.
He shot 63, 65 in the first two rounds, and played the first six holes of the third round in 1 under before play was called for the day. He started his 30-hole Sunday with a chip-in on his first hole. It was his only birdie of the day, but it was enough to win. He held a two-shot lead when he arrived at the 18th tee, then made a cautious bogey on the water-lined closing hole.
It was Crane’s fifth tour victory and first since the 2011 McGladrey Classic.
“This win is different for me,” Crane, 38, said. “I want to treat it differently and I really want to enjoy it. I don’t want to act like there’s five more behind it.”