Troy Merritt shot a final-round 67 to reach 23-under par and claim victory at the 2018 Barbasol Championship.
Forced to a Monday finish due to several weather delays over the weekend, Merritt closed his final day at Keene Trace Golf Club with four birdies against one bogey, while adding a double gain with a hole-out eagle on the par-4 8th.
Merritt, who has struggled badly since winning his maiden title at the 2015 Quicken Loans, entered the Barbasol playing his best golf in two years, posting two top 20s in his four most recent starts – just as many as he’d produced in his 43 previous starts.
“It’s so hard to win on the PGA Tour, and you know after my win at the Quicken Loans in ’15 I really didn’t play overly well the last couple of years – a couple of top tens and finished 151 on the points list,” said Merritt, who received full exemption through the 2019-20 season.
“Last year I had to go back and get my card through the finals, and you know – you have to ask yourself, ‘is this the time to move on?’ But to get a win like this, this late in the season to move up to 65 on the points and to secure a job for two more years, it’s a pretty good feeling.”
Billy Horschel, Richy Werenski, and Tom Lovelady were one back at 22-under par. The 26 year-old Werenski signed for a bogey-free 66, while Lovelady celebrated his 25th birthday with a 68, highlighted by an eagle and birdie over his final five holes to join the T2 group.
Horschel, the 2014 FedExCup winner, offset a bogey with six birdies en route to a 5-under 67.
One further back was J.T. Poston, who opened with a 69 but finished with three-straight 66s to round out the top five at 21-under par. Poston’s second and final rounds were both flawless.
Brian Gay closed with birdies on Nos. 17 and 18 to post a low-round 65 and pull away from a logjam of players to claim the sixth position at 20-under par.
With the victory, Merritt earned $630,000 and 300 points to move to No. 65 on the points list.
In addition to the two-year exemption, Merritt will get a spot in next month’s PGA Championship at Bellerive, as well as invites to the winners-only Kapalua event, along with several other high profile 2019 invitationals, including THE PLAYERS, the Arnold Palmer, and the Memorial, among others.
2018 BARBASOL CHAMPIONSHIP SCORING & MONEY
FINAL TOP 10 LEADERS
1. Troy Merritt -23 (-5)
2. Billy Horschel -22 (-5)
2. Richy Werenski -22 (-6)
2. Tom Lovelady -22 (-4)
5. J.T. Poston -21 (-6)
6. Brian Gay -20 (-7)
7. Cameron Percy -19 (-3)
7. Sam Ryder -19 (-1)
7. Hunter Mahan -19 (E)
10. Steve Wheatcroft -18 (-5)
10. Robert Streb -18 (+1)
12. William McGirt -17 (-6)
21. Danny Lee -15 (-3)
34. Billy Hurley III -13 (-4)
40. Chris Kirk -12 (-3)
44. Davis Love III -11 (+3)
60. Mackenzie Hughes -6 (+4)
TOP 5 CASHERS
$630,000 – (Troy Merritt)
$261,333 – (Billy Horschel)
$261,333 – (Richy Werenski)
$261,333 – (Tom Lovelady)
$140,000 – (J.T. Poston)
HOW TROY MERRITT WON THE BARBASOL CHAMPIONSHIP
MERRITT’S TOP-LINE STATS
Driving: 291.2 yards (16th)
Fairways: 41/56, 73.2% (15th)
Greens: 61/72, 84.7% (5th)
Putts/GIR: 1.69 (4th)
Par 3: E (2 Birdies, 12 Pars, 2 Bogeys)
Par 4: -10 (1 Eagle, 11 Birdies, 25 Pars, 3 Bogeys)
Par 5: -13 (1 Eagle, 11 Birdies, 3 Pars)
Aggregate Scoring: -23 (2 Eagles, 24 Birdies, 40 Pars, 5 Bogeys)
2018 BARBASOL CHAMPIONSHIP HIGHLIGHTS
FINAL ROUND FROM KEENE TRACE GOLF CLUB
QUOTABLE: TROY MERRITT
“To get a win like this, this late in the season to move up to 65 on the points and to secure a job for two more years, it’s a pretty good feeling.”
– Troy Merritt
Credit: PGA TOUR Media, Getty Images, Fastscripts