William McGirt claimed his maiden PGA Tour title, winning the Memorial Tournament in a playoff over Jon Curran on the second hole. Both players had finished at 15-under-par after 72 holes, one shot clear of third-placed Dustin Johnson. McGirt shot a final-round 71, while Curran compiled a round of 70 to make the playoff.
‘One thing I had always told myself, if I ever won a golf tournament, number one, don’t cry. And number two, don’t make a fool of yourself,’ said McGirt. ‘So when I stood over the putt, I told myself, I said, this is what you’ve dreamed of doing your whole life. You have this opportunity. Hit the best putt you can and see what happens. Surprisingly, I felt no nerves standing over that putt and poured it right in the middle.’
Johnson, Matt Kuchar, and Gary Woodland were the first to make their move for the title while Curran and McGirt kept close behind. Johnson picked up three birdies on the front nine to climb to 16-under-par while Kuchar joined him there as they made the turn. McGirt picked up a solitary birdie on the fifth and avoided any dropped shots as he made the turn one shot behind the leaders, alongside Curran. Woodland had also been part of the lead group after eight holes of his round, but fell away after three consecutive bogeys from the ninth onwards.
The next to fall out of contention was Dustin Johnson, who dropped shots at the 10th, 12th, and 13th holes. Matt Kuchar’s chance of victory went up in flames after a double-bogey on the 13th followed by another dropped shot at the 15th.
36-year-old McGirt found himself in sole possession of the lead at one stage, having yet to drop a shot on the day. 29-year-old Curran would roll in a birdie on the 17th that forced both players into the decisive playoff after McGirt failed to find a birdie on the back nine.
On the first extra hole both players made par. McGirt made par on the second hole of the play-off, which was good enough as Curran slipped to a bogey.
For McGirt, this was the biggest day of his career as he collected the Memorial trophy from host Jack Nicklaus and a winner’s cheque for $1,530,000.
Charl Schwartzel enjoyed a succesful week as he finished with a closing round 68 to end on 11-under-par and in a share for 11th place. George Coetzee endured a torrid weekend shooting 77 and 75 to end in 73rd place on his own on four-over-par.