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Merritt making first WGC start: 'Riding the high' of win

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AKRON, Ohio – The whirlwind continues for a beleaguered Troy Merritt, who is set to make his first appearance in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational after earning his maiden win last week at the Quicken Loans National.

While Merritt hasn’t gotten much sleep since his three-shot victory over Rickie Fowler at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, he hopes to build upon the momentum of his breakthrough win this week at Firestone Country Club.

“I’ve been on the road so long now this summertime that everything has melded together,” said Merritt, who also earned a spot into the PGA Championship with his victory. “I’m still just riding the high, coming off the win and built a lot of confidence. The body physically isn’t quite back to where I’d like it after the long week, but it will get there soon.”

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Merritt has never played in a WGC event before, and this is first appearance at Firestone – at least, in person.

“I actually think I remember maybe playing this course, maybe on Microsoft Golf 1999, on the computer sometime,” he said. “It’s definitely a lot different in person than watching it on TV.”

After toiling through seasons with little to no job security, Merritt is still relishing some of the perks of his victory – including exemptions into high-profile events like this and a Tour exemption through the 2016-17 season.

“Winning last week has put us on the cusp of playing in the bigger events more often,” he said.

“It’s part of a schedule that I’d like to have in the future, where you can play 22, 23 times and spend some more time at home versus always trying to chase cuts and trying to chase points just to keep a job.”