LOS ANGELES — William McGirt, trying to get his first PGA win after a pair of runner-up finishes, couldn’t overcome an uncooperative putter on Sunday, but did finish in a tie for sixth in the Northern Trust Open and cashed his third largest check as a professional.
McGirt, who started the day at 12 under par and with a two-stroke lead, birdied the first hole, but it was be his only birdie of the day as others were going low. The Fairmont native three-putted No. 2 for a bogey, then lingered at 12 under par as other players caught and passed him, and then added bogeys at Nos. 9 and 16.
He did manage to make a 12-foot par putt on No. 18 that was worth about $50,000.
McGirt was upbeat following his fourth best finish on the PGA Tour.
“I played really well the first three rounds and didn’t feel as if I played that poorly on Sunday,” McGirt said in a Facebook post that was to thank people for their support. “I simply couldn’t sneak a putt in the hole. That is what makes golf so hard and nerve wracking yet some much fun. Some days you’re the pigeon and some days you’re the statue. I can only walk away from this week with positive feelings.”
McGirt won $216,913, his third best check on the tour behind only his runner-up finishes in the RBC Canadian Open in 2012 and 2013.
McGirt, who has made six of nine cuts in the new wrap-around FedEx Cup season, has now won $367,957 on the season, putting him 64th on the money list. He made a huge jump in the all-important FedEx Cup standings, and is now 63rd on that list with 227 points.
After leading the event in the “strokes gained putting” category heading into the final round, McGirt needed 20 puts on the 10 greens he hit in regulation on Sunday.
McGirt was headed to his South Carolina home for a week off.
“I finally started to see the results of the work I have been doing with my golf swing,” he said. “I am really looking forward to some great things the rest of the year.”
Bubba Watson closed with consecutive 64’s to win the Northern Trust Open for his first tour victory since the 2012 Masters.
He made up a four-shot deficit in the first six holes, and closed with the lowest round by a winner of this tournament in 28 years.
“When I won the Masters, it was just me,” Watson said. “Family members were there, but not my wife and not my son, who was just adopted at that point, and now is two weeks away from being 2 years old. What a thrill. We’ll have some pictures with him and my wife and the trophy, so it’s nice.”
Watson won by two shots over Dustin Johnson, who closed with a 66 for the second straight week and got the same result — second place. Johnson finished one shot behind Jimmy Walker last week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
“When you shoot 14 under on the weekend, it’s tough to beat that,” Johnson said.
Jason Allred, who went to college up the coast at Pepperdine, played bogey-free for a 68 and tied for third with Brian Harman, who also had a 68. Allred was a Monday qualifier, and this was his first regular PGA Tour event since he last had his card in 2008.
The tie for third was a career-best for the 33-year-old Allred. He earned $388,600, which is more than he had made in his entire career, which included two full seasons on the PGA Tour. He now is exempt into the Honda Classic, which starts in two weeks — about the time his wife is due with their third child.