August 2, 2015: Troy Merritt becomes the first former Boise State golfer to win a PGA Tour event, charging to a three-stroke victory over Rickie Fowler in the Quicken Loans National in Gainesville, VA. It was Merritt’s first victory in 96 PGA Tour starts and qualified him for his first two majors, the PGA Championship that month and the Masters the following April. It also earned him more than $1.2 million. That led to what is still his biggest year of earnings on the tour: $2,092,669. Merritt has one other victory on the big circuit: the Barbasol Championship in 2017.
Merritt is in 11th season on the PGA Tour. He’s had at least one top 10 finish in each of the last nine seasons and has 22 for his career (along with 48 finishes in the top 25). Merritt has also topped the $1 million mark in earnings five seasons in a row. His career total is $13,313,045. The latest on Merritt: he turned in a sterling Sunday performance at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit over the weekend, shooting a seven-under 65 in the final round to tie for 14th and earn $153,300.
All things considered, Troy Merritt’s one-under 71 in the first round of the 2018 PGA Championship may be the most impressive round of his career. He teed off sight unseen on the Bellerive course in St. Louis after undergoing emergency surgery for a blood clot in his left arm a week earlier at Saint Alphonsus. He was injecting blood thinners twice a day, and the surgery incision site was sore. Nevertheless, Merritt was two-under after 12 holes before wearing down a bit and absorbing three bogeys over the final six holes.
As a Bronco, Merritt was the WAC individual champion and conference Player of the Year as a senior in 2008. He won seven tournaments that season, the most in NCAA Division I. Merritt cut his teeth on golf in Burley before his family moved to Fridley, MN, when he was in high school. He started his college career at Winona State, a Division II school in Minnesota, before transferring to Boise State. That was in 2006, when he spent the summer working with his uncle at SpurWing Country Club and was drawn back to Idaho. Merritt still gets plenty of rounds in at SpurWing. He and his wife Courtney and their two children live in Meridian.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)