Troy Merritt claimed his maiden PGA Tour title with a three shot victory over his fellow American Rickie Fowler in the Quicken Loans National in Virginia.

Troy Merritt claimed his maiden PGA Tour title with a three shot victory over his fellow American Rickie Fowler in the Quicken Loans National in Virginia.

Merritt took the lead in the event with a fabulous third round of 61 – a tournament record and a phenomenal effort in testing conditions. He went into Sunday one shot clear of Rickie Fowler.

On the final day it was Bill Haas who applied the early pressure. He fired in six birdies in his first 10 holes to reach 17-under-par and tie Merritt at the top of the board. But he faded on the back nine and, in the end, he finished in a tie for fourth.

Merritt held his nerve on the run for home, birdieing the par-3 16th to stretch his advantage. He closed with another fine round of 67 to win the tournament with a record score of 18-under-par. It was a great change in fortune for Merritt who had missed five straight cuts coming into this event. He credited two small changes in his address and his putting technique for making the difference

“That’s why I’m here,” he said after the round. “We found those two little fixes.”

In the end it was Rickie Fowler who finished as Merritt’s closest challenger. His roller-coaster final round of 69 featured seven birdies and five bogeys. After the round he went over to give Merritt a hug and congratulate him on his first Tour win.

“”He went out there and earned it today,” Fowler said. “He played some great golf. … The score that he put up being in the lead and what he did yesterday, to back it up with a solid round of golf — it’s what you’ve got to do to win.”

England’s Justin Rose scored a 65 to give himself a small chance of victory, but he couldn’t quite force himself into the battle for the title. He closed with a 70 and ended the week in a tie for fourth.

Justin Rose swing sequence:

Tiger Woods birdied five of his first 10 holes to reach 10-under-par and, despite stumbling on the back nine, the signs are good for the former World Number 1. On the 12th, he made a bogey despite hitting one of the shots of the tournament. His tee shot went well right into a hazard and after dropping he faced a long, blind shot. He hit a brilliant 5-wood to the back fringe of the green. It was vintage Tiger Woods.

Although he’s currently struggling to make the top-125 on the FedEx Cup list and qualify for the playoffs, he’s looking further ahead.

“I’ve got years ahead of me, that’s how I look at it,” he said.

Quicken Loans National
Robert Trent Jones GC, Gainesville, Virginia
Jul 30 – Aug 2
Purse: $6,700,000, par 71

1    Troy Merritt (USA)    70    68    61    67    266    $1,206,000
2    Rickie Fowler (USA)    67    65    68    69    269    $723,600
3    David Lingmerth (Swe)    68    65    68    69    270    $455,600
T4    Jason Bohn (USA)    67    67    67    71    272    $242,875
T4    Bill Haas (USA)        67    71    64    70    272    $242,875
T4    Danny Lee (NZL)        67    67    69    69    272    $242,875
T4    Carl Pettersson (Swe)    70    68    64    70    272    $242,875
T4    Justin Rose (Eng)        66    71    65    70    272    $242,875
T4    Justin Thomas (USA)    66    71    68    67    272    $242,875
10    Ryo Ishikawa (Jap)    63    68    71    71    273    $180,900

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage