Troy Merritt wasn’t able to match Rickie Fowler’s birdie on the par-4 17th Friday, making just a par. That means there’s a three-way tie for the lead heading to the weekend. It also means that if Merritt, who at one point was in danger of missing the cut here, birdies the Kodak Challenge hole one of the next two days he’ll win the $1 million prize. If he doesn’t, there will be a three-way playoff between Merritt, Fowler and Aaron Baddeley -- unless someone eagles the hole.
While Merritt didn’t birdie No. 17, he did birdie the final hole. That’s important for a couple of reasons. First, Merritt is 121st on the money list and could ill afford to miss the cut, which he was in danger of doing until two birdies over his last four holes. And by making the cut, he stayed in the race for the Kodak Challenge.
As for Fowler, his own late-day birdie run moved him back into contention at 7 under.
“I played well for 27 holes; the front nine was a little rough,” said Fowler, who made the turn in 2 over. “My caddie came up to me and said, ‘You have 10 good holes in you?’ Now I’m focusing on trying to go win a golf tournament.” -- Brian Wacker
Click here for the complete Kodak Challenge standings