William McGirt won his first competition in 165 starts on the PGA Tour at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, and the timing could not have been better.
McGirt played the final 22 holes of the Memorial bogey-free. His six-foot putt on the second playoff hole to beat Joe Curran earned him a handshake from host Jack Nicklaus and sent him high enough in the Official World Golf Rankings to qualify for the U.S. Open in two weeks at Oakmont.
McGirt, who parred every hole except a birdie on No. 5 on his way to a 1-under 71, held steady while others around him felt apart on the back nine. His final par putt in regulation play was the most important; a two-putt from 65 feet to join Curran in the playoff.
They finished the final round at 15-under 273, one stroke ahead of Dustin Johnson (71), with Rory McIlroy among those two behind.
McGirt found himself in trouble on the first playoff hole when his ball ended up in a deep greenside bunker. He used the slope at the back of the green to bring the ball back towards the hole, leaving a few feet for an easy par putt.
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