McGirt set with happy company for Sunday duel

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July 28, 2012
David McPherson, special to PGATOUR.COM

ANCASTER, Ontario -- As he strolls the fairways in Sunday's final round, William McGirt might be heard humming the Beatles' classic "With a little help from my friends." At least he's hoping that one particular friend continues to calm his nerves and helps him notch his first PGA TOUR victory.

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McGirt heads into Sunday at the RBC Canadian Open at 15 under, one shot back of his friend Robert Garrigus, who set the tournament's 54-hole scoring record with a three-round total of 194.

"I love playing golf with Robert," McGirt said after his second straight 4-under 66. "He always knows what to say at the right time. We had a lot of fun out there today. After one bad shot, he walked by and said something funny and we both burst out laughing."

Garrigus said the fun factor, and playing alongside a couple friends, certainly helped him score well, too.

"I had fun with Willie and Scott (Piercy)," he said. "We kind of fed off each other."

This camaraderie was apparent on the 18th hole when the threesome all scrambled for par, and exchanged high-fives with each other and their caddies before walking off the green.

Besides having fun, McGirt has played some really good golf of late. Last week at the True South Classic, his T5 finish was a career-best in 56 PGA TOUR starts. It's also what secured the 33-year-old's tee time in Canada this week.

A string of three birdies in a row on the front nine (Nos. 4, 5, and 6) for the second straight day got McGirt's Saturday off to a flying start. Hamilton's gnarly rough, which has grown longer as the week has progressed, nearly cost him a second bogey on the back side when he took two chips on the par-5 17th. A great second shot helped him save par though and he didn't lose any ground to Garrigus.

Round 3 Recap: RBC Canadian Open

Robert Garrigus took over the lead Saturday at Hamilton G&CC.

"I had a terrible lie on the first chip and my caddie and I both thought we could get more on it," McGirt said. "I wish I had had the lie on the first shot that I had on the second ... that was the best up and down I've made all week."

The short game is what has finally put McGirt into a position to win; he ranks No.1 in Strokes Gained-Putting for the week, picking up an average of nearly three strokes per round on the field.

Playing in the final pairing is unfamiliar territory for McGirt, who first joined the TOUR in 2011. If he wins Sunday, the check would be slightly more than his career earnings.

A win would also move him into the top 40 in the season-long FedExCup race.

On Sunday, McGirt hopes to get the last laugh and a little help from his friend -- even if it's at his buddies' expense -- for his first TOUR win.

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