NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Troy Merritt shot a 5-under 67 on Monday to win the rain-delayed Barbasol Championship by one stroke.
This was his second career PGA Tour victory, and it earned him a spot in next month’s PGA Championship. Merritt led or shared the lead after each round.
“To get a win like this late in the season and move up to No. 65 on the points list and secure a job for two more years, it’s a pretty good feeling,” said Merritt, who earned $630,000 and 300 FedEx Cup points with the victory. Merritt is also exempt through the 2019-20 season.
Merritt was one of four players tied for the lead at 18 under when the round began. He made five birdies, including an eagle-2 on the par-4 eighth hole, to stay in contention.
Consecutive birdies on Nos. 14 and 15 at the Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club put him into the lead before he finished with pars for a 23-under 265.
Billy Horschel (67), Richy Werenski (66) and Tom Lovelady (68) were a stroke behind. J.T. Poston was fifth at 21 under with Brian Gay sixth at 20 under.
The Monday finish was the PGA Tour’s second this season and first since Jason Day won the Farmers Insurance Open in January on the sixth playoff hole.
Monday’s final round had a playoff feel as well with Merritt, Robert Streb, six-time PGA Tour winner Hunter Mahan and Lovelady tied for the lead. Competition remained tight as the leaders dealt with a course left mushy by steady showers.
Merritt passed the downtime by watching the final round of the British Open and used the rest to play his way into golf’s final major of the season.
Merritt had an opening round of 62 to tie the course record. He tried to maintain consistency in a tournament he believed would require at least 20 under to win.
In his last round, he had a lone bogey on the par-3 third hole and birdies on the first, sixth and eighth. Then came birdies at Nos. 14 and 15, and he just missed another on No. 18 when his putt went about an inch left of the cup.