Sunday, August 2, 2015

Boise State's Troy Merritt Wins Quicken Loans Championship

Boise State's Troy Merritt won the Quicken Loans Golf Championship going away today, nailing a beautiful 20-foot on the 18th to win his first PGA victory by three strokes in Prince William County, Virginia.

The win earns Merritt a spot not only in next week's Firestone Championship, but also the PGA Championship later this year and the prestigious Masters next year.

Merritt grabbed the lead on the final day on the ninth hole, then took a two-stroke lead when he parred the 10th hole and Chappell double-bogied.  Bill Haas surged to 15 under-par, slicing a stroke off Merritt's lead when Troy bogied the 12th and Haas parred the 14th. 
But Haas bogied the 15th hole on the way to a disastrous finish.  Merritt parred 13 while Haas double-bogied 16 to give Merritt a two-stroke lead again.

Meanwhile, David Lingmerth moved to 14 under after 15 holes.  Merritt played consistently to get a par on 14, but Lingmerth parred both 16 and 17.  Merritt hit a beautiful shot on 15 to set up a par and maintain his two-stroke lead.

Rickie Fowler surged late by parring 15 and 16 to move into a tie for second with Lingmerth.  Merritt parred 15 as well and was three holes away from victory.
On the 16th, Merritt hit a gorgeous shot with English to just miss a hole-in-one by about three feet.  He tapped it in from there to extend his lead to three.  Fowler just missed a putt for birdie on 17 and stayed 14 under-par. 

Merritt came back from two tough shots to par 17 and move onto the 18th.  Fowler nailed a super putt to birdie 18 and move within two, awaiting Troy's finish.

Merritt shot a 70 on opening day and followed that up with a 68.  He made headlines around the world with a course record 10-under-par 61 yesterday to make Troy a co-leader with Troy Chappell heading into the final round.
 “I thought if I could shoot something like 65 or 66, get back to 9 or 10 under and give myself a little bit of a chance tomorrow, I thought I’d be happy,” Merritt said.

It was Merritt’s second 61 of the year, matching his second-round score at the Heritage in April.  After missing 12 putts inside 13 feet during the first two rounds at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va., he made a slight adjustment Saturday morning — he squared his shoulders on his putts. The result was 11 birdies.

Merritt earned All-Western Athletic Conference honors at Boise State, tying the school record for the lowest round with a 62 at the District VII Shootout.

Merritt turned professional in 2008 and had earned $750,000 before this weekend's performance.  Troy ranked 123rd in the world coming into the tournament, and advanced all the way to #38 after the win.

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