NEW YORK — William McGirt will have some work to do if he hopes to extend his run in the FedEx Cup playoffs this season.
Currently 93rd in the standings entering the four-tournament series, the 38-year-old Fairmont native has made the playoffs in each of his seven seasons on the PGA Tour, advancing to at least the BMW Championship — the third leg of the playoffs — over the past three seasons.
In 2016, McGirt competed in the season-ending, 30-player Tour Championship for the first time in his career.
With a $10 million prize at stake over the next four events, the Northern Trust is the first step to extending his season, starting Thursday at Glen Oaks Club in Westbury, New York.
The playoffs feature a progressive cut through the first three events to determine the final 30 players who qualify for Atlanta. The Northern Trust opens with 125 players and ties, followed by the Dell Technologies Championship with 100 players and ties and the BMW Championship with 70 players and ties.
In the final leg of the tournament, a reset takes place, seeding the top 30 players to compete at East Lake.
McGirt enters the playoffs having missed the cut in three of his last four events. Over his past six appearances in the first leg of the playoffs, McGirt has missed the cut twice and earned a trio of top-25 finishes, including a fifth-place finish in 2014.
Paired with Whee Kim and Jason Kokrak, McGirt will start his journey Thursday at 1:17 p.m. from the 10th tee box of the 7,350-yard, par-70 course. The trio will tee off from the opening hole at 8:37 a.m. Friday.
Much like Eagle Point in Wilmington, Glen Oaks draws comparisons to Augusta National, host of the Masters. The rough measures at roughly 3 1/2 inches with a straightforward setup from tee to green. However, the greens are a key difference. Both Eagle Point and Augusta National are equipped with bentgrass, with Glen Oaks’ putting surfaces featuring Poa annua.
Patrick Reed is the defending champion of the event. Reigning FedEx Cup champion Rory McIlroy tees off to defend his title at 7:53 a.m. Thursday alongside Sung Kang and Keegan Bradley.
Hideki Matsuyama, the current FedEx Cup points leader, is paired with PGA Champion Justin Thomas and British Open Champion Jordan Spieth. The trio will tee off at 8:26 a.m. in the opening round.
Rodd Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5182. Follow him on Twitter @RoddBaxley.