GREENSBORO — With a towel draped over his head in an effort to cool off after playing the opening round of the Wyndham Championship on Thursday, William McGirt felt his score could have been a bit better.
“I played a heck of a lot better than the score was. … seemed like every putt burned the edge,” said McGirt, who posted a 2-under 68 at Sedgefield Country Club.
“That’s the way it is. It seems like that’s the way it’s been the last six months. You play a good round of golf and everything burns the edge so you get nothing out of it.”
With temperatures in the mid-90s throughout the morning and into the afternoon, and very little breeze, McGirt rolled in three birdies and a bogey during his opening round.
Matt Every matched the Wyndham Championship’s first-round record with a 9-under 61 to take a one-stroke lead.
Every tied the opening-round mark set in 2010 by Arjun Atwal, who went on to win the PGA Tour’s final tournament before the postseason.
Henrik Stenson opened with a 62. Former Wyndham winner Webb Simpson was at 63 along with Cameron Smith, Vaughn Taylor, Tim Wilkinson, Harold Varner III, Brian Campbell and Sam Saunders.
Starting on the opening hole in the final tournament of the PGA Tour’s regular season, McGirt got into red figures on the par-5 fifth hole, chipping his third shot within a few feet for a kick-in birdie. He followed with a roughly 8-foot birdie on the par-4 eighth hole, moving to 2 under for his round.
His final birdie of the day came on the par-4 11th. Capping his approach shot with a club twirl, McGirt stuck it close for the easy birdie to get to 3 under, but followed with a bogey on the par-3 12th, hitting his tee shot short of the green before a two-putt bogey dropped him back a shot.
McGirt had several birdie opportunities, most notably on the par-3 16th, where he skirted the edge on 10-foot putt. But he also managed to get himself out of a few jams with his short game, getting up and down for par to stay in red numbers.
While he wishes the score would have been more reflective of his play on the course in the first round, McGirt said he’s seeing some positive changes in his game.
“I’m at least encouraged by what’s going on right now. I feel like I’m starting to hit it better.”
Grouped with Nick and Vaughn Taylor, McGirt will go off from the 10th tee box at 12:50 p.m. Friday afternoon.
Rodd Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5182. Follow him on Twitter @RoddBaxley.