Troy Merritt

[picappgallerysingle id="10242307" align="center"]

As you might have noticed from my posts these past few weeks, I really like seeing the competition for tour cards in the fall. In some ways I think that it’s more compelling to see guys struggling to stay in the top 125 or 150, than compete for a top 10 world rankings spot.

This article on got me thinking.  Failure on the PGA Tour is more lucrative than expected.  In fact, in 2009 the top 125 cut-off was $681,631.  Most people would kill to make that kind of money in a single year.  But in 2010, Troy Merritt, who landed at 125 on the money list, made $786,977, an increase of $105k over last year.

What explains the jump in earnings at the lower end of the PGA tour money list?  The total prize money increased slightly (by about $1.4m) but that’s not enough to skew these numbers.  The big differences, in fact, were Tiger, Phil, and Steve Stricker.

[click to continue…]

Fall Series Wrap Up

by Derek on November 16, 2010

in PGA Tour

Johnson Wagner made a great effort but fell just short of securing his tour card

The biggest story of the week was probably Troy Merritt finishing right on the bubble at 125 and cashing a $1 million check for winning the Kodak Challenge in a playoff against Aaron Baddeley and Rickie Fowler. I imagine that it had to be one of the best Sunday’s Merritt has had in his life.

But Merritt wasn’t the only player fighting for his card. Roland Thatcher might have “vomited” away the tournament (his words), but he did enough to make a huge jump from 179 to 122. It was close though. He had to make a 5 foot putt to secure his card after Spencer Levin 3-jacked it from 18 feet. However not only did Thatcher make the putt, he cashed a $500k check.  So not a bad weekend for him either.

And of course Robert Garrigus’s win erased his demons from the loss to Lee Westwood earlier this year and moved him from 122 to 51 on the money list.  125 may be the magic number, but top 70 is important too because it opens up entry to several additional events.

[click to continue…]

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - NOVEMBER 11: Troy Merritt plays a shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the Children's Miracle Network Classic at the Disney Palm and Magnolia courses on November 11, 2010 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Troy Merritt had one hell of a Sunday.  He finished the year right on the button at #125 on the money list and then won the Kodak Challenge along with $1 million dollars in a 3-way playoff against Aaron Baddeley and Rickie Fowler.  Not a bad Sunday at all.

[click to continue…]

Merritt Eyes Tour Card & $1 Million

by Derek on November 12, 2010

in PGA Tour

With a 1-under par 71 at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic today, Troy Merritt made the cut and likely guaranteed himself a 2011 PGA Tour card.  I’m not a statistician, but Merritt is currently sitting at 121 on the money list so although it may be technically possible for him to drop below 125, there’s little to no chance of that actually happening… and little just left the building.

Merritt obviously wants to finish the 2010 season strong, and what better way to do that than with a $1 million cash prize?  No, he’s not exactly in contention for the win this week.  But he is currently tied for the lead in the Kodak Challenge.  If you’re not familiar with it, the Kodak Challenge is a season long competition where 30 holes are selected at the beginning of the year.  Competitors must play at least 18 of the 30 holes during the season to qualify.  At the end of the year, the golfer with the best score relative to par wins the Kodak Challenge and a cool $1 million.

[click to continue…]

Fall Series Update: Byrd Wins With Style

by Derek on October 25, 2010

in PGA Tour

What an ending! It seems like the Fall Series has had some of the most dramatic and entertaining finishes of the entire season. With an ace on the 204-yard 17th hole (the 4th hole of a 3-man playoff), Jonathan Byrd grabs his first win on tour and secures his tour card for the next 2 seasons.
[click to continue…]

Fall Series Update

by Derek on October 19, 2010

in PGA Tour

I said a couple of weeks ago that the Fall Series was one of my favorite times of the year for golf viewing.  And this past weekend proved my point.  Rocco Mediate grabbed his 6th win on tour (has he really only won 6 times? Wow) in dramatic style.  He was sitting 182nd on the money list and had already sent in his application for Q-School.  I imagine that he’ll now spend December gearing up for the season opener at Kapalua in January.

It’s also awesome to see David Duval playing solid golf.  He’s sitting comfortably at 99th on the list, so he’ll definitely be out on Tour next year.  Shooting 4 rounds under par isn’t something that he’s done since his T2 at Pebble Beach in Feburary.  He’s shown flashes of brilliance over the past couple of years.  Could we be close to seeing the former world #1 snag his first victory since the 2001 British Open?

[click to continue…]

Why I like the Fall Series pt 2

by Derek on October 15, 2010

in PGA Tour

MADISON, MS - SEPTEMBER 30: Dean Wilson stands by his bag during the first round of the Viking Classic held at Annandale Golf Club on September 30, 2010 in Madison, Mississippi. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)

Dean Wilson just shot a 64 to move into 2nd place at the open behind Rocco Mediate.  Wilson is currently sitting #122 on the money list.  Assuming he doesn’t go 76-80 this weekend, his 64 today probably just locked up his spot on tour next year.

[click to continue…]

Why I Like the Fall Series

by Derek on October 10, 2010

in PGA Tour

Troy Merritt at the Viking Classic

The PGA tour typically struggles in the fall. They’re competing against the NFL and MLB Playoffs. Viewership falls off significantly. For many of the biggest names in golf, the FedEx Cup now marks the end of the season.

But the “Fall Series” as the tour calls it, is actually one of the most interesting times of the year in golf. Why? Because this is when players get 5 weeks to establish themselves on tour, retain their tour card or go back to Q-School in December. Players that sneak inside the top-125, get to set their schedule for 2011 and can enter any full-field event they choose.

[click to continue…]