OAKVILLE, Ontario — The Canadian Open has been good to William McGirt during his time on the PGA Tour, providing him with a pair of second place finishes.
But this weekend at Glen Abbey, the course wasn’t so kind.
The Fairmont native had been near the top of the leaderboard with a 67 and 69 on the first two days at the course, making the cut easily. But a 75 on Saturday dropped him out of serious contention. He rallied on Sunday with a 69, finishing at 8-under-par for the tournament and in a tie for 34th place.
For McGirt, it was a tournament of missed opportunities.
“I didn’t play very well at all this past week,” McGirt told The Robesonian on Monday. “The course played pretty tough the first three days in the gusty winds. I managed to miss in spots where I could scramble to make par the first two days.”
Through those first two rounds, it appeared McGirt would once again have a chance to claim his first victory on the tour, entering Saturday in ninth place. But five bogeys and a double bogey nullified four birdies, dropping him to 48th place entering Sunday. He had a combined three bogeys in the other three rounds.
“Saturday was comical,” McGirt said. “I got off to a good start but had a two-foot putt on No.5 for par that went in dead center and hit the lip of the cup and popped straight back over the front edge of the hole. I had several rattle around the first few days and I had a feeling it might happen.”
“The cups didn’t get set low enough … just a bad break. It all went downhill from there.”
Despite the rough Saturday, McGirt battled back Sunday posting a 3-under 69 to jump 14 spots into a tie for 34th place. He carded his only bogey on hole No. 8, following it with birdies on Nos. 9, 11, 14 and 15 to finish at 8 under for the tournament.
That earned him a check of $28,669 and brought his winnings for the season to $736,876. He also earned 34 FedEx Cup points to climb four spots in the standings to 75th.
McGirt plans to play in this week’s Quicken Loans National tournament — hosted by Tiger Woods — in Virginia.
Jason Day played the role of spoiler on Sunday, birdieing the final three holes to win the Canadian Open, denying David Hearn’s bid to become the first Canadian winner in 61 years.
“I’ve never felt so much at home, and I’m not even from Canada,” Day said. “I’m looking forward to coming back and defending the title here next year because I know that when I get here next year it’s going to be the same. It’s great to feel like a Canadian for a week.”
Day made a 20-foot putt on the par-5 18th for a 4-under 68 and a one-stroke victory over Bubba Watson. Hearn, two strokes ahead of Day and Watson entering the round, had a 72 to finish third — two strokes back.
“I’m real proud of the way I played and I’m really proud to be Canadian today,” Hearn said. “It was a pretty special day with all of the fans and the support that I had from beginning to finish.”
Day was coming off a fourth-place tie last week in the British Open at St. Andrews. The 28-year-old Australian also fought through vertigo symptoms last month to tie for ninth in the U.S. Open. He has four PGA Tour victories, also winning at Torrey Pines in February.
“This must feel like what Tiger (Woods) did for so many times, and it feels good,” Day said. “I’m going to try to do as much as I can and keep it the same and try and win.”
Rodd Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5182. Follow him on Twitter @RoddBaxley. The Associated Press contributed to this report.