Troy Merritt's Keys to Victory at the Quicken Loans National
With a record-breaking 10-under 61 on Saturday followed by a final-round 67, 29-year-old Troy Merritt captured the first PGA Tour victory of his career. Here are some of the key statistics that tell the story of his win.
Merritt didn’t just top the leaderboard on Sunday, he also set the pace in several key statistical categories, including strokes gained tee to green, total strokes gained, scoring on par 4s (9-under), proximity to the hole (23’ 11’’), and scrambling.
Merritt set the tournament record with a 61 on Saturday, his second 61 of the season and the 7th overall on Tour this year. Following up with a 67 on Sunday makes him just the third player to card a 61 and go on to win, joining Jordan Spieth (third round at the John Deere) and Rory McIlroy (third round at the Wells Fargo.)
Merritt teed off on Saturday at 4 under par, seven shots back of leader Ryo Ishikawa. But he played the next 25 holes at 13 under par, getting to 17 under by the time he reached the 8th tee on Sunday. A lone bogey on number 12 was his only blemish of the day, as he played the last 11 holes at 1 under, including a 34-foot birdie on the 72nd to secure a three shot victory.
With his win this weekend, Merritt climbed 85 spots in the FedEx Cup race, jumping from the bubble of making the playoffs (123rd) to an all-but-guaranteed spot in the first two events (38th.) He also earned an invite to this week’s WGC-Bridgestone, the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits along with automatic berths in next year’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Masters and Players Championship..
2 little fixes
Merritt had missed five straight cuts coming into this week and 11 in his last 17 starts. He gave credit to two minor tweaks -- a shift in his hand position on full swings and squaring his shoulders more on putts -- for helping him earn his first Tour win in 96 tourneys. “I kept telling people I was close,” Merritt said. “I made two little fixes, and here I am.”