Troy Merritt took three-plus years to go from first-time winner on the PGA Tour to a multiple-time champion, and he did so with an iron-clad iron game.
Merritt won the Barbasol Championship by one stroke over three players. En route to his victory, he jarred a 133-yard shot for an eagle 2 on the par-4 eighth hole at Eagle Trace in Lexington, Ky., during Monday’s weather-delayed final round. Equally important was an approach from 121 yards that settled inside 10 feet on the par-4 15th hole that led to one final birdie that proved to be the difference.
“[I] hit a nice little 9-iron into a cool little north wind with some mist, and just happened to find the bottom of the hole,” said Merritt, who also won the Quicken Loans National in 2015. “It's always nice to jump up 2-under par on the scorecard. … It just set the tone for the back nine, knowing that we were going to be right there. [But] I think the wedge and the putt on 15 is what won the tournament.”
Merritt’s irons are a model he recently put into play, Wilson’s new FG Tour V6 Raw (with KBS C-Taper 125 steel shafts), clubs with a raw finish that will rust over time. The clubs were a difference-maker for Merritt at the Barbasol, where Merritt tied for first in proximity to the hole at 25 feet, 8 inches and was T-5 in greens in regulation at 84.72 percent. He also was first in strokes gained/approach the green, picking up more than 10 shots on the field over the four rounds in that stat, including 3.573 strokes in the final round.
Like we said, an iron-clad iron game.
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Driver: Wilson D300 (Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board S+ 70), 9.5 degrees
3-wood: Callaway Rogue, 15 degrees
Irons (2): Wilson FG Tour V4; (4): Wilson D300; (5-PW): Wilson FG Tour V6 Raw
Wedges: Wilson FG Tour PMP (50-, 54, 58 degrees)
Putter: Yes! C-Groove Mollie