In Detroit a dream ‘moving day’ for Troy Merritt who also makes a ‘hole in one’ and hooks Chilean Joaquin Niemann at the top of the Rocket Mortgage Classic rankings, with a total of 202 (-14) hits. In Michigan third super round for the American who captures the first ace of his career on the PGA Tour, at hole 11 (par 3) from 219 yards (200 meters), crowning a race closed in 67 (-5) with even 4 birdie and a bogey. And now, the 35-year-old from Osage, Iowa is aiming to become the first player after Webb Simpson (Phoenix Open 2020) to win a PGA Tour competition after hitting a ‘hole in one’.
Troy Merritt, Rocket Mortgage Classic
The American at the Detroit Golf Club (par 72) pursues his third success on the circuit after the first arrivals respectively at the Quicken Loans National 2015 and at the Barbasol Championship 2018. An important opportunity also for Niemann, an emerging star of the US tour who, in his young career, boasts an exploit at The Greenbrier 2020.
But the title challenge is open in the United States. Where Hank Lebioda and Cameron Davis share 3rd position with 203 (-13), with Brandon Hagy 5 / o with 204 (-12). On the other hand, Phil Mickelson disappoints, only 70 / o with 213 (-3).
Rory McIlroy talks after arrival in County Kilkenny yesterday.
“The last time I was on the 18th green here was that prize-giving ceremony. Tiger Woods won and I somehow sneaked my way under the ropes on to the back of the green. I was standing right behind him and his glove was still in his back pocket. I could have reached out and got it and ran, that would have been a good story to tell. Obviously I didn’t. It was the first time I’d seen him play live. I still remember the first shot I saw him hit, the drive at the 5th, a par five. He hit 2-iron into the green. It was so cool. I’d idolised him growing up and to actually see the man in the flesh was pretty exciting.”
“I’d made a bit of a name for myself as an amateur by then and knew Chubby (Chandler) and Darren (Clarke) so I was in the clubhouse and got to chat to Ernie when he won. It’s amazing to think it’s been 17 year. Certainly a lot’s changed for me since the last time I was here. I might as well play the Scottish as well. My original plan up until last week was us to come as a family, play here, take a week off, which is now the Scottish Open, and play the Open. With me being a sports person the restrictions are not as heavy for me as they would be for Erica and Poppy. I felt it wasn’t fair to put them through what they’d have to go through to be here with me. The plans changed very quickly and we made the decision I travel on my own. I wasn’t going to go back to the States for a week inbetween the Irish and the Open, so if I’m here I might as well play the Scottish as well. It went very quickly from them coming, to not coming and then me playing three events in a row! If anything, it’s probably worked out for the best. It’ll be nice to get a tournament on a links course before going into Sandwich. I didn’t play for a week because I was spending time with the family before being away. So I can now get to work here and in Scotland”.