LUMBERTON — After a two-week break from PGA Tour competition, Fairmont native William McGirt will return to the course Thursday to compete in the Wyndham Championship.
“I definitely needed the break,” McGirt told the Robesonian in an email interview late Tuesday. “I didn’t touch a club for a week and didn’t miss it at all.”
Instead, McGirt chose to spend some extra time with his family.
“I had fun taking my son Mac to the pool and getting a lot of stuff done around the house,” McGirt said. “Nothing like a bunch of yard work to get you motivated again.”
With the tournament being played at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, McGirt has some added motivation to do well this weekend.
“I would expect to have several family members and friends come up,” said McGirt, who will be playing less than hours from his hometown of Fairmont. “Hopefully I can give them something to cheer for.”
McGirt is set to tee off for the first round on the back nine at 7 a.m. Thursday. He’s paired with Arjun Atwal — the 2010 winner of the event — and Troy Kelly.
McGirt fared well at the tournament last season, posting a 13-under-par 267 to finish in a tie for 8th place.
He’ll look to join a list that includes Webb Simpson, Carl Petterssen and Davis Love III as winners of the tournament who have ties to the Tar Heel State.
The Wyndham annually is the last chance for the PGA Tour’s bubble players — which includes Tiger Woods this season — to play their way into the FedEx Cup playoffs.
The top 125 in the standings will begin play next week at The Barclays in New Jersey. McGirt finished in a tie for 5th last season in the opening leg of the four-event playoff.
As he prepares for the playoffs, McGirt is hopeful that he’ll peak at the right time.
“I expect to be a little rusty this week, but I’m just trying to get prepared for a playoff push next week,” said McGirt, who currently sits 86th in the FedEx Cup standings.
“I’m looking for positives to build on.”
It starts at Sedgefield, where he’ll be testing his putter on the Donald Ross-designed turtleback greens.
“I have had a couple of good practice sessions the last few days and I am getting more comfortable with the swing changes,” McGirt said.
“I just need to get some momentum going with the putter.”
Rodd Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5182. Follow him on Twitter @RoddBaxley.