Late stretch costs McGirt the weekend at Memorial

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Jun. 4—DUBLIN, Ohio — A five-hole, five-over-par stretch late Friday sent William McGirt from the brink of contention to a missed cut at the PGA Tour's Memorial Tournament near Columbus, Ohio.

McGirt was tied for 11th after a 3-under 69 in the first round of the tournament, which he won in 2016; the struggles down the stretch Friday resulted in a 78 and the Fairmont native missed the cut by one stroke.

McGirt started Friday's round at the 10th hole and was even par through eight holes before a bogey the 18th. He parred holes No. 1-3 before a bogey at the fourth began the downward turn.

His approach shot found the water at the par-4 sixth, leading to double bogey, before a three-putt from 37 feet at the seventh and a missed four-foot par putt at the eighth both resulted in bogeys.

Needing birdie at the ninth to make the cut, McGirt missed the green short and failed to chip in.

McGirt's first-round 69 was propelled by a nine-hole stretch of 5-under-par golf. Sitting 1 over through five holes, McGirt made birdies on holes No. 6, 7, 10, 13 and 14 — two of which came from over 20 feet — to get to 4 under par; a bogey at the 16th dropped him to his 3-under finishing score.

The missed cut is McGirt's third straight and his fourth in his last five starts; he has made four cuts in 11 starts this season. He has five PGA Tour starts remaining in a 29-event major medical extension and has earned 75 of the 375 FedExCup points required to maintain his Tour playing status.

Cameron Smith leads the Memorial at 8 under par, one stroke ahead of Denny McCarthy and K.H. Lee and two in front of Davis Riley, Cameron Young, Jhonattan Vegas, Luke List and Billy Horschel. Rory McIlroy is among the players tied for ninth at 5 under par.