SPRINGFIELD, N.J. — The PGA of America sent a letter to William McGirt last week about uniform fittings for the upcoming Ryder Cup.
As one of the players hovering around the top 10 in the standings, the Fairmont native has two events left to put himself in a position to slip into those clothes come September.
On Sunday at the PGA Championship, McGirt took another positive step toward reaching that goal, playing 34 holes at a soggy Baltusrol en route to earning a tie for 10th in the year’s final major.
“I played really solid,” McGirt told The Robesonian. “I can’t complain at all. To finally make the cut in a major, and then have it be a top 10, that’s pretty big. It’s definitely something to build on.”
Only Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Matt Kuchar and Patrick Reed have more top-10 finishes than the 37-year-old McGirt, who earned his seventh of the season in New Jersey.
“We have plenty of work left to do,” McGirt said. “We have two more tournaments to try and move way up and get on that Ryder Cup team. I just have to keep fighting.”
The finish moved him to 15th in the Ryder Cup standings. The team will be comprised of the top eight players in the standings and four captain’s choices. The top eight will be finalized following The Barclays, which is scheduled to finish on Aug. 28.
McGirt’s final regular-season start will be in two weeks at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro.
He hasn’t heard from U.S. captain Davis Love III, or anyone else, other than the PGA of America, but with continued good play he’s in the mix.
“Hopefully I can do something that’ll make them consider me,” he said.
The Ryder Cup will be held at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota from Sept. 27 to Oct. 2. Vice captains for the Americans, who will battle the European team, include Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Tim Lehman and Tiger Woods.
Making the weekend for the first time in four starts at a major championship, McGirt finished the PGA Championship at 7 under.
Three bogeys over his final four holes on the front nine derailed his chances of winning, but a birdie-birdie finish on the par-5 17th and 18th holes moved him back into the top 10. Before rolling in birdie on No. 17, McGirt nearly holed out for eagle. On the final hole, he flew a greenside bunker shot to within a few feet, where he tapped in for birdie to cap his round of 7 under.
The finish moved him to 13th in the FedEx Cup standings and earned him a payout of $233,000, moving him to 10th on the money list at $3.32 million.
He also jumped eight spots in the Official World Golf Rankings, vaulting to a career-high No. 38.
Following a busy few weeks, including two major championship appearances, McGirt will get some rest as he prepares for the stretch run.
“I’m looking forward to a couple of weeks off,” he said. “It’s going to be nice to recharge the batteries a little bit after all of the travel the past few weeks.”
Jimmy Walker won the PGA Championship for his first major title, finishing the tournament at 14 under, one shot better than the defending champion Jason Day.
Rodd Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5182. Follow him on Twitter @RoddBaxley.