McGirt looks to bolster playoff position in familiar spot at Wyndham Championship

GREENSBORO — For the only time this season, Fairmont native William McGirt will tee off in his home state before finishing out his season in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs that begin next week.

This week at the Wyndham Championship hosted in Greensboro, McGirt is hoping to continue his recent positive results at a familiar tournament. McGirt played in his first PGA Tour event in 2007 at the Wyndham Championship, hosted at Forrest Oaks Country Club, the tournament was moved over to its current home, Sedgefield Country Club the next year.

“It’s always nice to come back here. I’ve got some good vibes around this place,” McGirt said. “I’m kind of at peace with everything that is going on, and I’m going to try and play my best to prolong the surgery as long as I can.”

McGirt announced two weeks ago after his sixth-place finish at the Barrcuda Championship that he would be having hip surgery a few weeks after he is eliminated from the playoffs. But with how he has been playing as of late, he plans on extending his season as far as he can, and there may be a stipulation on how long he would go if he makes the playoff finale’s Tour Championship.

“The plan gets thrown out the window if I win or make it to the Tour Championship and get back to Augusta,” he said o a possible return trip to The Masters. ”There would be no surgery until after it. I wouldn’t miss Augusta, I can tell you that

He has made five of his last seven cuts, and posted two of his best finishes of the year, with his performance at the Barracuda Championship, and a tie for 12th at the Barbasol Championship a month ago.

In the months since his injury intensified and started to affect his swing, McGirt has been forced to compensate for the lack of rotation the injury has caused him.

“I’m pretty comfortable with it. The hardest thing is when I get the ball below my feet,” McGirt said. “It’s something that I’ve kind of learned to work around, and I’m kind of peaking at the right time.”

Tees off with Chris Kirk and Scott Piercy from the 10th tee on Thursday in the first round.

The tournament has provided some of the highlights of McGirt’s PGA Tour career as he posted his lowest round on Tour at Sedgefield Country Club in the first round of the 2015 Wyndham Championship, he went on to finish in a tie for 14th that week.

“I’ve played this tournament more than I have played any other tournament out here,” McGirt said. “It’s close to home, close to where I grew up and close to where I live now. It would be really special to win this one. It’s such a good golf course and such a good tournament.

“The golf course fits my eye. You’ve got to hit golf shots around here.”

In his other appearances in Greensboro, McGirt has recorded a tie for eighth in 2014, a tie for 65th in 2013 and a tie for 52nd in 2011. He missed the cut in 2012, 2016 and 2017.e

He currently sits 112th in the FedEx Cup points standings, jumping up 10 spots after his outing in Reno, Nev., two weeks ago. He is a lock for the Northern Trust that starts off the playoffs, but points this week would go further into a streak he would like to continue.

“I’ve made at least two playoff events every single year. I’d like to get enough points to guarantee that I can get there or get pretty darn close,” he said. “I feel like I’m playing well enough right now to have a good chance at getting to the Tour Championship.”

Henrik Stenson is the defending champion of the event and tees off at 12:50 p.m. on Thursday in the first round with Jhonattan Vegas and Ryan Moore.

Jonathan Bym | The Robesonian Fairmont native William McGirt, right, signs autographs for a fan at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro on Wedesday. Bym | The Robesonian Fairmont native William McGirt, right, signs autographs for a fan at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro on Wedesday.

By Jonathan Bym

Sports editor

Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977 or by email at Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.