ORLANDO — After saying that his swing is starting to work for him after a tie for 16th finish last week, Fairmont native William McGirt stays in Florida to compete in this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge.
Collecting his third top-20 finish of the season at last week’s Valspar Championship, McGirt takes on a course that he has played well at during his career.
“I’m looking forward to Bay Hill this week. I finally started to feel good swinging the club last week so I’m looking for that to continue,” McGirt told The Robesonian. “I just need to get comfortable with my putter.”
McGirt mentioned in the past how accommodating Palmer was at his home event. This will be the second running of the tournament after the death of Palmer on Sept. 25, 2016, and he knows that there is a piece missing during the week without Palmer.
“I love Bay Hill and the API but it just isn’t the same without (Palmer) around,” he said “I’d sure love to win his tournament.”
In his seven appearances in Orlando, McGirt has made the cut five times. His best finish came in 2013, when he finished in a tie for eighth. He also picked up finishes in the top 40 in 2011 and 2015.
The Fairmont native tees off with Jimmy Walker and Mackenzie Hughes in the first two rounds of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The group starts off the first tee at 8:23 a.m. on Thursday and the 10th tee at 1:05 p.m. on Friday.
Marc Leishman won the tournament last year and will play with Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler on Thursday and Friday. Tiger Woods plays his second consecutive tournament and will tee off at the same time from opposite tees than McGirt’s group in the first two round.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977 or by email at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.