Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
If you remember the days of the old Kemper Open, it was known for the longest time for producing first time winners, today it was another first timer in Troy Merritt that claimed the hardware in the final round of the Quicken Loans National.
Merritt shot a 4-under 67 on Sunday and finished his first career victory in 96 starts with a flourish, rolling in a 34-foot putt for birdie on the 72nd hole. After the putt fell, the 29-year-old former Boise State player raised his hands, looked toward the crowd and shrugged his shoulders.
Merritt had struggled on the tour before today. In the past five tournaments, he didn’t make the cut and a little over a month later he wins his first tournament on what is a very tough course.
With the win, Merritt collects 500 points and jumps from No. 123 to No. 38 in the FedExCup standings. His only previous start in the FedExCup Playoffs came with a T46 finish at The Barclays in 2014, but he failed to advance to the following week’s Deutsche Bank Championship.
With the victory, Merritt earns a spot in next week’s World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and the following week’s PGA Championship. He has never played in a WGC or Major Championship up to this point in his career.
In other QL National notes, Tiger Woods played his best tournament in a number of years and perhaps his best of the season, but finished the weekend tied for 18th.