PARAMUS, N.J. — William McGirt’s attempt to lengthen his season and postpone his impending hip surgery that will sideline him for up to a year starts Thursday on a course he has a fond history at.
For as long as McGirt has been on the PGA Tour, he has advanced to the second FedEx Cup playoff event, and as it stands, the Fairmont native is on the outside looking in for next week’s Dell Technologies Championship held at TPC Boston. To secure a spot there, McGirt will have to provide another positive result at Ridgewood Country Club for The Northern Trust.
“You’ve got to get to the playoffs, and anything can happen there,” McGirt told The Robesonian before the Wyndham Championship. “Ridgewood is a place I finished fifth there the last time it was there in 2014. That’s another place I go to that has good vibes. It’s a good golf course, it’s a hard golf course where you have to drive it really well. You have to do everything well out there.”
In that 2014 appearance in the playoff’s first event, McGirt used three rounds under par for a tie for fifth-place to set up a run to the third event of the playoffs that season. That finish earned him 500 FedEx Cup points.
He enters the week at No. 109 in the FedEx Cup standings, with the top 100 making it to next week’s event in Boston. To figure out what McGirt needs to keep his streak of second-tournament appearances, and his season going, requires some math.
“As for advancing to Boston, I would guess I need to finish inside the top 30 or so,” he said. “I am roughly 50 to 55 points behind 100 going into this week. I think I need to make 100 points or so to advance.”
Based on his past finish at Ridgewood, McGirt thinks the task is “doable.”
“I have some positives to draw from. I know I can play well at this golf course,” he said.
For the first two rounds, McGirt is paired with Scott Stallings and Tyler Duncan. The group goes off the ninth tee at 1:28 p.m. in the first round.
After playing on a tract last week in Greensboro that was tough for his compensated swing on uneven lies, McGirt said that problem won’t come into play as much this week.
“Ridgewood doesn’t have near the uneven lies from what I remember,” McGirt said. “I don’t think it will be as tough on my body. I do need to tighten up the driver a bit but I think I can do that over the next few days.”
Dustin Johnson won the tournament last season, before Justin Thomas went on to win the FedEx Cup. Johnson is grouped with Thomas and U.S. Open and PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka in the 8:05 a.m. tee time from the ninth tee.