McGirt’s Remarkable Back-Nine Charge Forces Fortinet to Make Cuts

Sep. 15—NAPA, California — Needing a good final nine holes to play the weekend, William McGirt delivered.

The Fairmont native shot a back nine of 3-under 33 Friday and sits tied for 52nd at the halfway mark of the PGA Tour’s Fortinet Championship.

After an opening-round 2-under 70 on Thursday, McGirt made bogey on the fourth and double-bogeyed the eighth hole, falling to one over par for the tournament, with the cut line hovering around 2- to 3 under par.

After knocking his approach stiff, leading to birdie on the par-4 ninth, McGirt made birdie putts from 10 feet and six feet on the 12th and 15th holes. Then, needing a birdie at the par-5 18th to make the cut after Friday’s play, McGirt a 26-foot birdie putt to finish a 3-under-par 69 for the day.

McGirt will tee off at 12:25 p.m. ET in Saturday’s third round, paired with Greyson Sigg.

The event is the first tournament in the new FedEx Fall format, which follows the PGA Tour’s FedExCup Playoffs and will serve as the final events to determine the top 125 for the season standings; those inside the top 125 after the RSM Classic in November will maintain full PGA Tour status.

McGirt, who is playing the 2023 season on conditional status, began the week ranked 197th in the FedExCup, and needs a strong fall to regain full status for 2024.

Sahith Theegala and S.H. Kim are tied for the tournament lead at 12 under par, with Sangmoon Bae a stroke back in third and Eric Cole two behind in fourth. Justin Thomas and Max Homa, both in final tune-ups before the Ryder Cup, are among the players tied for sixth at 8 under par, four strokes off the lead.

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