Deep Thoughts With Quicken Loans Champ Troy Merritt

October 16, 2015

The reigning Quicken Loans champ, 29, on the time he beat an NBA player at H-O-R-S-E and why he loves courtesy cars so much.

When did you know you could make it as a PGA Tour player?

I think maybe my third event of my career, playing at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego. I was one shot out of the lead with five to play and I made three bogeys coming in, but just to be in contention three events into my rookie career, I thought, I could do this. If I can improve a couple things, I could be successful.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?

My uncle gave it to me first, and then Hale Irwin reiterated it when I was a rookie. He told me to take it one shot at a time. To hear it our of Hale Irwin’s mouth validated it.

How did you learn the game?

My uncle and my dad let me tag along to the course every day, and I kind of taught myself. I grew up playing 150 rounds a summer while hitting balls around the house and in the backyard. It’s got me to here.

Do you have a hidden talent?

As a lot of people found out on YouTube, when I killed the Grizzlies’ Mike Conley Jr. in a game of H-O-R-S-E, that I can shoot a basketball. I was All-State honorable mention in 
high school.

What’s something you’re terrible at?

Anything having to do with art. I can see stuff on the course, but I can’t see stuff and put it on a piece of paper.

What’s the biggest perk of being of a Tour pro?

Getting to drive extremely nice cars that I would never buy. I’m frugal, so I don’t overindulge by any means. My wife and I come from a whole lot of nothing. My parents are teachers. The one thing my wife and I bought when I won was a Lexus RX 350. That was the only thing we’ve spent a lot of money on.

What is your most prized possession?

I have the first metal-headed driver I ever got, called a Waka-Waka. It’s framed and hanging in my bedroom.

If you could see any musical act in history, who would it be?

I’ve been to two concerts. I took my wife to see Carrie Underwood, and it was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. We also saw Justin Timberlake last year. We were a little disappointed with the music, but the dance moves were awesome. I guess I’ll say Elvis Presley. He transformed the industry.