McGirt closes strong to tie for ninth at RBC Heritage

First Posted: 4/21/2014

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Fairmont native William McGirt carded a no-bogey, 5-under-par 66 on Sunday in the RBC Heritage Classic to record his seventh top-10 finish during his career and make a big climb up the all-important FedEx Cup standings.

McGirt, who had led the tournament after opening with a 66 on Thursday before getting the worst of the weather in a rain-delayed second round when he struggled to a 76, tied for ninth to win $156,200.

He had rounds of 66, 76, 71 and 66 at Harbour Town, which was plagued by wet and windy weather for the entire tournament.

“It was hard every day,” McGirt told The Robesonian by Facebook.

He leapt from 89th to 69th on the FedEx Cup list with 363 points, easily within the top 125 players who will enter the PGA Tour’s version of the playoffs. He has now won $594,329 during the season, placing him 80th on the money list and pushing him past the $3.2 million mark in career earnings during his fourth season on tour.

McGirt was steady on Sunday, making birdies on Nos. 2, 5, 13, 14 and on the par 3 No. 17 when his tee shot stopped within 3 feet of the hole. He now has two top-10 finishes on the season, with his other being a tie for sixth in the Northern Trust Open.

McGirt will play in the Zurick Classic this week in New Orleans, and has plans to play in five of the six tournaments following, including the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte that begins May 1. The only tournament he now has plans to skip before the U.S. Open in Pinehurst is the Byron Nelson Classic.

Matt Kuchar, who had flirted with victory for three straight tournaments including at the Masters, finally broke through by holing out a bunker shot on No. 18 for a one-shot victory over Luke Donald. Kuchar finished at 11-under 273 for his seventh career PGA Tour victory and won $1.044 million in prize money.

“I believe that I keep plugging away, good things are going to go my way,” he said with his trademark grin.

His 7-under 64 Sunday tied for the lowest round of the tournament and ended a string of five straight final rounds this season during which he shot even par or worse. He had a chance to seal the tournament on No. 17, but three-putted from just 4 feet to set up the unlikely finish.

“It was just an incredible feeling,” he said.

For Donald, it was his third second-place finish and fifth top-three finish in his past six RBC Heritage events.