RENO, Nev. — Bad news came after a good result when William McGirt finished his final round at the Barracuda Championship on Sunday.
After posting a 20-point round in the final round of the Modified Stableford event and posting a 63 in the process, McGirt climbed up from 49th to finish the event in sixth place, his highest finish of the season. Hours after posting his third-best round on Tour, the PGA Tour released that the Fairmont native will be undergoing hip surgery after the FedEx Cup playoffs, and could miss up to a year while he recovers from the surgery.
The finish in Reno locked in McGirt for the PGA Tour’s playoffs in three weeks for the eighth consecutive year he has been on tour.
McGirt, 39, said the issue in his hip had been hampering him all year, but addressed it with Dr. Thomas Byrd, a hip specialist in Nashville, who discovered a torn labrum in his left hip on X-rays taken, and also femoroacetabular impingement. This has led to issues with rotation in his swing.
The Fairmont native said he was told by doctors to “expect four months without even hitting a ball. Two months on crutches. So it’s probably going to be a year. …It sucks but life. It’s part of getting older.”
He is scheduled to start in Greensboro in two weeks for the Wyndham Championship, and plans on playing as long into the FedEx Cup playoffs as he can. McGirt said surgery will come a “week or or two” after the end of his season.
“It’s nice going to Greensboro next week and not having my back against the wall,” McGirt told The Robesonian. “I feel like I am playing well enough that I can make a big push in the playoffs. My goal is to make the Tour Championship. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me but I feel like I am playing well enough that it’s still very possible.”
McGirt’s injury is not an issue that he said gives him continuous pain, but can feel some swings that cause bone-to-bone rubbing in the area when he is forced to take an unconventional stance. He said one of those times occurred on the 18th hole on Sunday at the Barracuda Championship.
“If I get a ball that’s below my feet or a lie that’s severely uphill where my left foot is above my right, it’s bone on bone,” McGirt told the PGA Tour. “And I just run out of room. My hips can’t rotate anymore. So they push back and then I either hold on to it or I flip it.
“That one on 18, I just flipped it. That has been part of the frustration from this year is the fact that my body won’t let me do what it needs to do.”
McGirt used one eagle, eight birdies and one bogey to collect 20 points on Sunday to increase his total for the tournament to 35. He gathered 60 FedEx Cup points and $122,400 with his second top-10 finish of the year. He jumped to 111th in the FedEx Cup standings.
When he walked off the golf course an hour before the leaders teed off, McGirt was in a tie for second place.
“It was nice to play a round like that for sure,” McGirt said. “I have been playing well for a couple of months and my scores haven’t really reflected how well I have been playing. I hit it great all day. I think I only missed 2 greens in regulation and most of my shots were inside of 15 feet. I gave myself a lot of great looks at birdie and was able to capitalize on a lot of them.”
Andrew Putnam won the tournament with 47 points.
For McGirt, the surgery goes further than just the game of golf with two children under the age of 6.
“Who cares about golf. It’s just about getting it done for a way of life,” he said.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977 or by email at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.