SPRINGFIELD, N.J. — After narrowly missing the cut in his first two major championship appearances of the PGA Tour season, William McGirt gets one final shot at breaking new ground as the final major of the year starts Thursday in New Jersey.
The 98th edition of the PGA Championship, known for years as “Glory’s Last Shot,” will be held at Baltusrol Golf Club this week and the former slogan holds true for McGirt as he looks to notch another accomplishment to the best of his six seasons on the Tour.
The Fairmont native made his major debut in the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, missing the cut. His tough luck continued this season as he qualified for the U.S. Open and British Open, missing the cut by three strokes in Oakmont — playing 36 holes in one day — and one stroke last week in Royal Troon.
Featuring the strongest field of all the majors, with only three players inside the top 100 set to sit out, the PGA Championship offers McGirt a chance to make a statement as the FedEx Cup playoffs draw closer.
Following this week, there will be three events left before the playoffs begin in late August. McGirt is a lock to make his sixth straight appearance, sitting 16th in the standings, and is in position to make a deep run in the four-event championship.
But for now, he seeks to make the third time a charm as he competes in his third major of the season looking to make the cut for the first time.
McGirt, grouped with Soomin Lee and Joost Luiten, will tee off Thursday at 1:45 p.m. from the 10th hole. On Saturday, the trio will start at 8:30 p.m. from the opening hole. Coverage of the event will be provided by TNT.
This will be the ninth major at Baltusrol, which includes the U.S. Open seven times and the 2005 PGA Championship. Phil Mickelson won at Baltusrol in 2005, making birdie on the final hole to claim the victory.
Jason Day is the defending champion of the event. He raised the Wanamaker Trophy last season at Whistling Straits.
Each major this season has been claimed by a first-time major champion. Danny Willett won The Masters, Dustin Johnson won the U.S. Open and Henrik Stenson outdueled Mickelson to win the British Open.
Rodd Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5182. Follow him on Twitter @RoddBaxley.