So much for that. Todd Hamilton’s drive went in the water on the par-4 18th and as a result the one-time British Open champion dropped back to 3 under after a double bogey on the finishing hole.
Right next to the 18th hole, on No. 9, Troy Merritt had so such trouble. His tee shot split the fairway and two shots later he made par to finish with a career-best 64 that has him one off the lead.
Merritt entered this week just inside the proverbial bubble at No. 123 on the money list, so a strong performance here would all but lock up his PGA TOUR card for next season. If things ended right now, Merritt would jump 45 spots to No. 78 ( click here for our live projected money list).
It’s not as if Merritt has played all that well of late, however. He has just one finish in the top 50 since April, and that was a tie for 49th at the Wyndham Championship. Thursday, however, he hit 11 of 14 fairways and hit 16 greens. He also had just one miss from inside 10 feet with the putter. -- Brian Wacker