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Who Is William McGirt And Why Do We Care?

We care because the playoffs are finally taking hold after five years.

We care because the stories of those guys that have earned a total of $403,384 playing in 27 events and barely keeping their PGA Tour card have a chance to shine and advance when the odds are against them.

William McGirt is playing in his first full season on the PGA Tour after a full year stint on the Nationwide Tour.

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After finishing T24 at the hurricane shortened Barclays last week, McGirt moved into the required top 100 at 96th, but will need another solid finish this week in the Deutsche Bank Championship to play in the next playoff event in two weeks at the BMW Championship outside of Chicago.

"I'm probably going to have to make another $300,000 to $400,000 to keep my card," McGirt said. "But the good news is, a good week this week and we keep moving on. It's not the end of the world if I have to go back to play the Nationwide Tour next year. I also have Q‑school to fall back on. But I'm not looking at it as I have to get it done right now. It has to be this week. I've got four Fall Finish events. There's plenty of opportunities left to lock up my card."

McGirt was 126th on the FedEx Cup points list going into the Wyndham Championship, the last event of the regular season. He needed to move up one spot and barely did finishing T52 to move into the top 125, but his move last week up 24 spots was one of his biggest move of the year.

Now McGirt is left with having to play even better than he did last week to advance.

"I seem to play my best when my back is against the wall," McGirt said. "Knock on wood, my back is against the wall again this week. It seems like every time that I've gone out this year and shot 2 or 3‑over the first round, I've bounced right back, and if I haven't made the cut I've given myself a really good chance coming down the stretch to make the cut."

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In Friday's first round, McGirt will play with Ricky Barnes and Troy Matteson, both in similar circumstances as McGirt and both needing a very good week to advance.

The best part about the playoffs are that next Monday the story could be about Barnes or Matteson and McGirt could be on his way home until the Fall Series in three weeks or McGirt could do something special and advance.

Either way the playoffs are taking hold, just like the PGA Tour had hoped, even if Tiger isn't in them.

Stuart Hall is editor of the Golf Press Association.

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