GREENSBORO, N.C. – Ninety minutes into his opening round, it didn’t look like William McGirt would be anywhere near the leaderboard at the Wyndham Championship.
McGirt bogeyed two of his first three holes, and played his first six in even par on a course where scores in the 60s are a requirement for keeping pace. From there, though, he birdied six of his final 12 holes, rolling in a 24-foot birdie on No. 18 to cap an inward 30 and a round of 6-under 64 at Sedgefield Country Club.
“I don’t really know where it turned around today, or why it did,” McGirt said. “I played pretty well the last 12 holes, and hit my irons really well.”
While many players in this week’s field are trying to play their way off the FedEx Cup bubble, McGirt’s postseason spot was sewn up long ago, and he enters this week ranked No. 91 in the standings. After not touching a club since the RBC Canadian Open – “Got our garage painted,” he said – McGirt’s goals for this week focused on playing well at a tournament where his history includes only two made cuts in four starts and no finish better than T-52.
“I never played all that well here,” he said. “Just to be able to get four rounds of competition again, coming off of two weeks off.”
McGirt endured a stretch of four missed cuts in five starts earlier this season, but since then he has found a groove after undergoing some minor swing changes under the tutelage of Danny Stewart, with five top-35 finishes in his last seven starts.
“I feel like I understand what I’m trying to do now,” he said. “It’s just a matter of trusting it at this point. I’m starting to get more comfortable with it, it’s just going to take some time.”