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Lots on the line for Iowa native Troy Merritt

USA Today Sports

Iowa native Troy Merritt hits his tee shot on No. 8 during the final round of The National tournament Sunday at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm in Potomac, Md.
USA Today Sports Iowa native Troy Merritt hits his tee shot on No. 8 during the final round of The National tournament Sunday at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm in Potomac, Md.

POTOMAC, Md. — Troy Merritt shot a 2-over par 72 in the final round of the Quicken Loans National on Sunday to finish tied for 17th in his 21st start of the year, 15 shots behind winner Francesco Molinari.

After opening the week with rounds of 68, 68, and 66 the Osage native and current Boise, Idaho, resident struggled to convert putts Sunday the way he had the last couple rounds.

But in the big picture, Merritt has produced a consistent season thus far on the PGA Tour.

He’s made the cut in 14 of his 21 starts this year with nine top 45s.

Last season Merritt made the cut in 12 of 28 events and missed the FedEx Cup Playoffs by finishing 151st in the season-long race.

At the moment, Merritt is right on the number at 123rd in the FedEx Cup Standings and the top 125 after August’s Wyndham Championship in Greensboro get through to the Playoffs.

So what will be the key to managing his expectations down the stretch here as the season concludes and he continues to pursue his card for next year?

“Stay patient and don’t overthink it. Be cool about it,” Merritt said of the stretch run these next few weeks ending at Greensboro.

“It’s weird how the (FedEx) points have shaken out this year, but I will take this next week off and play as much as I can until Greensboro after that.”

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Golf is one of the ultimate ‘what have you done for me lately?’ sports and Merritt knows that he wants to get to the PGA Tour FedEx Cup playoffs — and the job security it brings with full-time privileges for next year — he knows he needs to take the right approach to this goal.

“You can’t get ahead of yourself, you can’t do the ‘what if?’ game, ‘what if I don’t get my card?’ ” Merritt said. “You got to go out and take each shot one at a time, then add them all up and hopefully it’s good enough at the end of the tournament and the end of the season.”

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