Troy Merritt is in decent shape to keep his PGA Tour card as a rookie, at No. 121 on the money list, and some $37,000 clear of No. 125. He’s in even better shape to claim the $1 million prize from the Kodak Challenge, which goes to a player’s best cumulative score on 18 out of 30 holes from various tour events.
But it won’t be without a fight.
Merritt has a one-shot lead over Rickie Fowler and Aaron Baddeley, and both of them are coming to Disney world this week for the season-ending Children's Miracle Network Classic. Baddeley withdrew from this week's Australian Masters, while Fowler is coming to Florida after tournaments in Malaysia and Shanghai.
“I didn’t want to just give it to Troy,” Fowler said with a grin. “Got to make Troy work for it.”
For the 21-year-old Fowler, it’s more than just $1 million.
He already has had a dream rookie season -- more than $2.6 million in earnings, well inside the top 50 in the world ranking, a spot on the Ryder Cup team. The one thing missing is a trophy, and that’s another reason to go to Disney.
“I’m not in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions,” Fowler said, savvy enough to know the winners-only tournament at Kapalua only changed its name a few days earlier. “This is another shot at having a chance to win.”