Journeyman McGirt wins Memorial title in playoff

Sun Jun 5, 2016 7:15pm EDT
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(Reuters) - William McGirt, relying on his putter, held his nerve in blustery conditions to clinch his maiden PGA Tour title with a playoff victory over fellow American Jon Curran at the Memorial tournament in Dublin, Ohio, on Sunday.

The 36-year-old journeyman sealed the win with a superb up-and-down for par on the second extra hole, the challenging 18th at Muirfield Village, after both players had parred the same hole at the first attempt.

After overshooting the green with his approach, McGirt hit a brilliant flop shot six feet past the cup and coolly sank the putt after Curran, also over the back of the green in two, failed to save par.

The duo had finished the 72 regulation holes at 15-under-par 273, McGirt carding a flawless one-under 71 while Curran closed with a four-birdie 70 in a final round interrupted for nearly 90 minutes due to the threat of lightning.

"It's unbelievable," McGirt told CBS Sports after earning the winner's check for $1.53 million, a coveted spot in next year's Masters and congratulations from tournament host Jack Nicklaus as he walked off the 18th green.

"It was a struggle all day. I fought my golf swing all day but I just tried to hold on to it and just hit as many greens as I could. Made a lot of really good par putts.

"My putter really saved me this week."

Though McGirt carded just one birdie on the day, he did not drop a single shot as he finally claimed his maiden PGA Tour title in his 165th career start.

Long-hitting Dustin Johnson, the first-round leader, returned a 71 to finish third at 14 under, one stroke better than fellow Americans Matt Kuchar (73), Gary Woodland (73) and J.B. Holmes (69), and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy (68).   Continued...

Jun 5, 2016; Dublin, OH, USA; William McGirt evaluates his putt on the sixteenth hole during the final round of The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports