Merritt wins first PGA Tour title at Quicken Loans

Sun Aug 2, 2015 10:20pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Troy Merritt held firm and finished with a flourish to claim his first PGA Tour title with a three-stroke win on Sunday at the Quicken Loans National at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia.

The 29-year-old Merritt, ranked 180th in the world, clinched victory with a laser shot off the tee at the par-three 16th for a three-foot birdie, and then rolled in a 35-foot birdie putt at the last to cap a 67 for an 18-under-par 266 total.

Merritt, who had missed five consecutive cuts, put himself in position with a course and tournament record 61 in the third round of his 96th career PGA Tour start.

"It's been a long journey the last five, six years," said Merritt, who credited the transformation in his game to a couple of adjustments he made this week.

"With how good the players are these days it could never have happened, to be quite honest. The level of the people that are out here are tremendous. These guys are the best players in the world and they're only getting better.

"So you have to go out and have a great game plan, pure it all week, make some putts, get some good breaks and luck and

maybe have a guy or two stumble at the end."

Rickie Fowler's long birdie at the 18th for a 69 earned him second place at 15-under, one stroke ahead of Sweden's David Lingmerth (69).

"He went out there and earned it today," Fowler, who won the Scottish Open three weeks ago, said about Merritt.   Continued...

Aug 2, 2015; Gainesville, VA, USA; Troy Merritt hits his second shot from the fairway on the 2nd hole in the final round of the Quicken Loans National golf tournament at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports