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Journeyman McGirt grinds out first PGA Tour victory as McIlroy shares fourth

Meanwhile, world number two Jordan Spieth closed with a 73 to finish in a tie for 57th

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, acknowledges the patrons after his round during the final round of the Memorial golf tournament.
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, acknowledges the patrons after his round during the final round of the Memorial golf tournament.

WILLIAM MCGIRT EARNED the first PGA Tour victory of his 12-year career at The Memorial on Sunday with a pair of back-to-back playoff par saves.

The 36-year-old McGirt rolled in a six-foot par putt on the second playoff hole to edge fellow American Jon Curran after they both finished the fourth round at 15-under 273.

McGirt posted his first victory since turning pro 12 years ago. He booked a spot in the US Open at Oakmont in two weeks, along with a three-year PGA Tour exemption.

He has appeared in just one major previously in his career, missing the cut in the 2012 PGA Championship.

McGirt hit his winning putt then punctuated the victory with a right fist pump before the ball even dropped into the cup on the 18th hole at the Muirfield Village Golf Club.

McGirt shot a one-under 71 Sunday, while Curran shot a 70.

McGirt became the sixth player to have his first career win come at the Memorial, including the last two — Hideki Matsuyama of Japan and David Lingmerth of Sweden.

It was the third straight year that the tournament hosted by Jack Nicklaus went to extra holes.

McGirt and Curran had a combined 218 PGA Tour starts without a victory.

Dustin Johnson finished one shot out of the playoff at 14-under 274. He shot a final-round 71 that included five birdies.

World number three Rory McIlroy carded a 68 to head a group sharing fourth on 13-under 275. He was joined by Americans JB Holmes (69), Gary Woodland (73) and Matt Kuchar (73).

The field was one of the strongest of the season, featuring the top five players in the world.

World number one Jason Day of Australia carded a final-round 74 that left him tied for 27th on 279.

World number two Jordan Spieth closed with a 73 to finish in a tie for 57th on 285.

© AFP 2016

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