TRUCKEE, Calif. (AP) — Troy Merritt made two late birdies Saturday to take a four-point lead into the final round of the Barracuda Championship, the PGA Tour’s lone modified Stableford scoring event.
Merritt had eight birdies and two bogeys on Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood Course for a 14-point day.. Players receive 8 points for albatross, 5 for eagle, 2 for birdie, zero for par, minus-1 for bogey and minus-3 for double bogey or worse.
Seeking his third PGA Tour victory, the 34-year-old Merritt had 33 points. He took the lead with a birdie on the par-4 16th, added another on the par-3 17th and just missed a third straight birdie on the par-4 18th.
Maverick McNealy and Emiliano Grillo were tied for second. Grillo had an 11-point round, and McNealy scored 10 points, falling back with bogeys on 16 and 17.
Robert Streb was fourth with 28 points. Joseph Bramlett and Richy Werenski followed at 28.
Merritt has a spot next week in the PGA Championship in San Francisco, while many others are fighting for a position reserved for the tournament winner. The top two from the top 10, not already eligible, will get spots in the U.S. Open in September at Winged Foot.
Tahoe Mountain is staging the event for the first time after 21 years across the border in Nevada at Montreux Golf and Country Club.