/China no, Jackson, yes; McGirt opts to support Sanderson event

China no, Jackson, yes; McGirt opts to support Sanderson event

William McGirt is No. 42nd in the world golf rankings won $3.6 million on this season’s PGA Tour. McGirt won Jack Nicklaus’ own golf tournament, The Memorial. He then walked arm-in-arm to Jack on the 18th green. McGirt won a three year exemption from the PGA Tour and an invitation to The Masters. The rewards continue to pour in. He is eligible to compete for the $8.5million purse at the World Golf Championship (WGC), Shanghai next week. He is almost guaranteed to win the money because it is a non-cut event. McGirt will instead be in Jackson. McGirt will be there to support the tournament, even though he isn’t allowed to by PGA Tour rules to play in Sanderson Farms Championship at Country Club of Jackson. McGirt plans to fly to Jackson Tuesday evening for the pro-am pairings celebration, then play in Wednesday’s prosam before returning to South Carolina. McGirt spoke by phone Tuesday night to say that it’s all about two things. “I don’t have the time or desire to fly halfway across the globe to China to participate in a tournament of golf. Second, I want support a tournament that I love and a charity I believe in. So, that’s what i am going to do. First, he had a meeting with the PGA Tour. According to the rules of the tour, a golfer cannot skip a WGC event in order to play in another tour event. The rules don’t prohibit players from playing in the pro-am. McGirt will accept whatever he can get. The Sanderson Farms Championship will follow his lead. Steve Jent, executive director of the Sanderson Farms Champion’s Championship, said that “I was stunned when I heard about Will’s plans.” It is amazing to have such support from a player. It is very important to us. Will is a strong, solid individual. McGirt is a strong individual who will do what he believes. He has participated in the Sanderson Farms tournament for the past five years. The last two were at Country Club of Jackson. McGirt finished second to Peter Mainati last season when his 25-foot birdie on the 18th narrowly missed winning the cup. He loves the Jackson area and the greens of the golf course. McGirt stated that Joe Sanderson, the CEO of Sanderson Farms, stepped in last year and promised to continue sponsoring the tournament for ten more years. “That’s huge. As players, we must support this. It is important that we support the tournament’s efforts to help that hospital. Joe Sanderson signed an agreement with PGA Tour to continue to sponsor Mississippi’s only PGA Tour event until 2026. The tournament raised over $1.1 million last year for Batson Children’s Hospital, University of Mississippi Medical Center. McGirt is a father of two young children aged 37 and wants to spend as much time with his family as possible. McGirt was the only one healthy at home, and he managed to fit in an interview while changing diapers, reading bedtime stories, making dinner, and making sure everyone had their medicine. He says he is aware that his decision to come to Jackson over the China tournament was unusual. He says he had no second thoughts after making that decision. McGirt stated that it is a two-and-a-half week commitment. You spend 12 hours flying in a tube metal around the globe, then you have to recover for two or three days. After that, you fly back 12 hours. It takes your body about a week to recover. It’s not something I want to do. I would rather support Joe Sanderson, Steve (Jent), and the hospital there. “There’s another. McGirt stated that Joe Sanderson will bring one of his poultry farms to the North Carolina area where he grew up. McGirt’s decision was not surprising. Jim Gallagher Jr., who was nine months pregnant at the time, skipped the British Open in 1996 to play here. It was legal and Cissye Gallagher Jr. was nine months pregnant at the time. Other players, including Brad Faxon and Davis Love, criticized Gallagher for not playing in a major. Gallagher stated, “My situation was different, but it is understandable where Will is coming.” “I think it is great that he’s doing what he can to support (the Sanderson Farms Championship).” Jent stated McGirt would be participating in a panel discussion at Tuesday’s pro-am party, and will also be part of one of the featured pairings during the pro-am. McGirt said, “I would love to play at the tournament itself, however, I can’t so it’s going to be difficult so I’m going do what I can.” Make a regular donation to support this work today to celebrate our Spring Member Drive and help us keep doing important work such as this. Our reporters give a human face to policy’s impact on everyday Mississippians by listening more closely and understanding their communities. To ensure that our work is aligned with the priorities and needs of Mississippians, we are listening to you. Click the button below to let us know what you think. Republish this Story