McGirt reveals he could miss a year with upcoming hip surgery
August 05, 2018
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
- McGirt will undergo surgery after the FedExCup Playoffs. (Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
RENO, Nev. – Thanks to a sizzling final round Sunday at the Barracuda Championship, William McGirt sealed his spot in the upcoming FedExCup Playoffs. He’ll hope to make the most of it, since the eight-year PGA TOUR veteran soon will be sidelined for perhaps as long as a year.
McGirt revealed that he will undergo hip surgery following the conclusion of his Playoffs run. He’s suffering from a torn labrum in his left hip, as well as a femoroacetabular impingement that prevents him from making a normal rotation.
McGirt said he will undergo surgery “a week or two” after his season is over. Doctors told him to “expect four months without even hitting a ball. Two months on crutches. So it’s probably going to be a year.”
Said the 39-year-old McGirt: “It sucks but life. It’s part of getting older.”
Playing at Montreux for the first time since 2011, McGirt posted a 20-point final round that included one eagle, eight birdies and a bogey. His 35-point total left him in solo sixth, his first top-10 of the 2018 calendar year and moved him to 111th in FedExCup points, which should keep him safely inside the top 125 for the next two weeks.
The hip issues have led to a frustrating season for McGirt, the 2016 winner of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. He entered this week with just two top-10 finishes, both coming in the fall portion of the schedule. He was 121st in FedExCup points, dangerously close to slipping out of the top 125, which is why he put the Barracuda on his calendar.
He said the hip problem had been bothersome all year – he was having difficulty sleeping whenever he had to roll over -- but really became an issue at the Valero Texas Open in late April when he found it difficult to work. The following Monday, he met with Dr. Thomas Byrd at the Nashville Hip Institute. X-rays were taken, and Byrd immediately recognized the torn labrum. An MRI confirmed the diagnosis.
McGirt said they also had a discussion about why it happened.
“He said, ‘OK, tell me about your sports history growing up,’” McGirt recalled. “I said I played baseball for 10 years. He said, ‘OK, what position?’ I said catcher. He said, ‘For 10 years?’ I said yeah. He said, ‘No wonder. I’m kind of surprised you made it this long without this happening.’”
The injury, said McGirt, is not painful but simply restricts what he can do because the internal rotation turns into bone on bone. It doesn’t impact every shot but crops up from time to time – such as his second shot Sunday into the par-5 18th. With an awkward lie from 265 yards, his
ball sailed to the left and ended up on a cart path. He eventually had to settle for par when a birdie would have tied the Modified Stableford course record.
“If I get a ball that’s below my feet or a lie that’s severely uphill where my left foot is above my right, it’s bone on bone,” McGirt said. “And I just run out of room. My hips can’t rotate anymore. So they push back and then I either hold on to it or I flip it.
“That one on 18, I just flipped it. That has been part of the frustration from this year is the fact that my body won’t let me do what it needs to do.”
His golf career is not the only concern – an observation his wife Sarah made several months ago when she told him, “You just got to have it fixed for a way of life. You’ve got a 5-year-old and a 2 1/2-year-old. You can’t be trying to crawl around the house and do stuff with them.”
Added McGirt: “Who cares about golf. It’s just about getting it done for a way of life.”
But for the next few weeks, golf will be on his mind. McGirt’s next start is the Wyndham Championship, the final tournament of the regular season. He’ll look to improve his positioning going into the first Playoffs event, THE NORTHERN TRUST.
Having made the Playoffs in each of the last seven years, McGirt has never failed to advance to at least the second event. He’d like to keep that streak going this season.
Once he’s done, though, he’ll go under the knife, not knowing when the next time he’ll get to hit a shot at a PGA TOUR event.