With two rounds to go, the Kodak Challenge winner is still in doubt after Rickie Fowler birdied the par-4 17th Friday to pull into a three-way tie with Troy Merritt and Aaron Baddeley.
Merritt had a chance to more or less end any drama, but he missed a 15-foot birdie putt Friday that, had it dropped, would have meant Fowler or Baddeley would have had to eagle the hole sometime over the next two days to win.
“[Fowler’s birdie] really didn't take any consideration to what I was going to do with the hole just because Badds was already tied with me,” Merritt said. “Now we got a three‑way tie on top, and I'm kind of playing with house money.”
As it stands, Merritt still controls his own destiny. If he birdies the hole in one of the two remaining rounds, he’ll win the $1 million prize. If not and Fowler or Baddeley don’t make eagle, there will be a three-way playoff immediately following the conclusion of the tournament on Sunday.
Fowler, by the way, didn’t rule out taking a crack at trying to do just that. “I think we'll try and get some looks at two, but I know that's a big long shot,” Fowler said. “If it comes down to a playoff, I think we'll have a lot of fun.” -- Brian Wacker