Boise Open notebook: Former Boise State player struggles Sunday

Troy Merritt finishes tied for 26th at home tournament

clangrill@idahostatesman.comJuly 28, 2013 

Sunday turned into the shootout everyone expected at the 24th Boise Open at Hillcrest Country Club.

Unfortunately for the large crowd following him, former Boise State golfer Troy Merritt couldn’t fire himself into the mix.

Merritt came into the day at 14-under, four shots off the lead. He had a 2-under 69 to finish at 16-under, seven shots off the winning score.

“It wasn’t the round I envisioned, that’s for sure,” Merritt said.

Merritt has been playing pro golf for five years, but he admitted he battled some nerves Sunday.

“I’m not going to lie, I had a few butterflies this morning,” he said. “I wanted to do really well.”

Merritt’s round was derailed by bogeys at No. 5 and No. 9 and a double on the 13th hole. Still, he was pleased he rebounded from a 1-over 72 on Thursday and made the cut Friday.

“I got to play four days, which is what you want to do when you’re playing in front of your hometown crowd,” he said.

Serenade on 17

New Zealand golfer Steven Alker, who was tied for the lead after the first round, turned 42 on Sunday. The scoreboards lit up with happy birthday wishes, but Alker has never been a scoreboard watcher, so he didn’t notice.

His playing partner, Jason Gore, did though.

“Somebody mentioned it yesterday and I had forgotten … and then I looked up and saw it,” Gore said.

The gallery at the 17th hole was also watching, apparently.

“I had a little serenade on 17,” said Alker, who finished at 13-under. “It was quite embarrassing.”

Gore got a good chuckle out of it, however.

“He’s a pretty quiet guy, and he couldn’t get off that green fast enough,” Gore said.

Haas gets hot

Hunter Haas, who won the Boise Open in 2010, had quite a run from the 15th hole to the 17th. He went birdie, eagle, ace.

Asked afterward how many holes-in-one he’s had in his life, he couldn’t come up with a specific number.

“I’d would say close to 20, just under 20,” said Haas, who shot a 64 Sunday to finish at 20-under. “I’d call it 18, maybe. I’ve kind of lost count.”

Losing count of holes-in-one? That’s a problem any golfer would love to have.

Stats of the day

• Sunday’s playoff was the fourth in tournament history and the first since Greg Chalmers defeated Danny Ellis in 2005.

• Kevin Tway is the second Boise Open winner to have a father who has won a major tournament. Bob Tway won the PGA Championship in 1986. Kevin Stadler won the Boise Open in 2006, and his father, Craig, won the Masters in 1982.

• Tway was the ninth first-time winner in 17 Web.com Tour events this year, and the fourth rookie to win this season.

• The tournament announced it raised more than $1.3 million for local charities this year.

Chris Langrill: 377-6424

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