NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. – Troy Merritt briefly wondered about trying another line of work as time passed following his initial PGA Tour victory more than three years ago.
He can now look forward to two more years as a professional and participation in next month’s PGA Championship after clutch putting earned him his second trophy.
Merritt shot a 5-under 67 on Monday to win the rain-delayed Barbasol Championship by one stroke. He led or shared the lead after each round. This was his second career PGA Tour victory and came with a spot in the PGA Championship at Bellerive in St. Louis.
A pretty nice payoff for renewed dedication that helped him keep his tour card after struggling to follow up his 2015 Quicken Loans National victory.
“You always ask yourself, is this the time to move on?” said Merritt, who earned $630,000 and 300 FedEx Cup points with the victory. He also is exempt through the 2019-20 season.
“To get a win like this late in the season and move up to No. 65 on the points list and secure a job for two more years, it’s a pretty good feeling.”
The win highlights a good run for Merritt, who is 34-under par in his last seven rounds dating back to the second round of last week’s John Deere Classic. He tied for 43rd.
Merritt was one of four players tied for the lead at 18 under when the round at Barbasol began. He made five birdies, including an eagle on the par-4 eighth hole, to stay in contention.
Consecutive birdies on Nos. 14 and 15 at the Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club put him into the lead before he finished with pars for a 23-under 265.
“We knew it was going to take a lot of birdies to get the job done, but we didn’t focus on any final number,” Merritt said. “We just continued to do our best on each shot and counted them up at the end, and it was one shot in the positive for us.”
Billy Horschel (67), Richy Werenski (66) and Tom Lovelady (68) were a stroke behind. J.T. Poston was fifth at 21 under, with Brian Gay sixth at 20 under. Clarkston’s Joel Dahmen shot a final-round 67 and finished at 16 under.
Subscribe to The Spokesman-Review’s sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.