First Posted: 3/19/2009
PINEHURST Fairmont native William McGirt, making a comeback from surgery on his left knee and battling allergies, opened his Tar Heel Tour season on Wednesday by shooting a 5-under-par 66 to join five other golfers for first place in the Pine Needles Golf Classic.
The tournament is being played over two Donald Ross-designed golf courses, Pine Needles and Mid-Pines.
McGirt, who played Pine Needles, birdied Nos. 2, 3, 4, 10, 11 and 13 and his lone bogey came on No. 9. Jordan Holley also shot a 66 at Pine Needles to join the leaders.
Brett Stegmaier, Doug Garwood, Emmett Turner and Ryan Carter each shot 5-under-par 70 at Mid-Pines to join McGirt and Holley atop the leaderboard.
McGirt, who missed advancing to the final stage of PGA Qualifying School last year by a single stroke, recently had arthroscopic surgery to repair his left knee. He missed the Tar Heel Tours first event of the year.
On Tuesday he was at Pinecrest Country Club in Lumberton, practicing in chilly and windy weather and blowing his nose while his father, Curtis McGirt, offered advice.
McGirt has won more than $100,000 on the Tar Heel Tour the last two seasons, finishing second on the money list in 2007 and sixth on the list last year.