August 2, 2015 / 11:45 PM / in 2 years

Merritt wins first PGA Tour title at Quicken Loans National

(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.

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

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

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

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, who posted a 69 for 270.

Bill Haas, who tied Merritt for the lead at 17-under after a torrid start capped by a 40-foot birdie putt at the 10th, made four bogeys and a double-bogey the rest of the way for a 70 and 272 total.

Joining Haas at 12-under were last year’s winner Justin Rose of England (70), New Zealander Danny Lee (69), Sweden’s Carl Pettersson (70) and Americans Justin Thomas (67) and Jason Bohn (71).

Kevin Chappell, tied for the overnight lead with Merritt, soared to a 77 for eight-under 276, a total he shared with tournament host Tiger Woods, who rebounded from a third-round 74 with a 68 to tie for 18th place.

Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Gene Cherry

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