Golf

Merritt eyes first PGA Tour Victory

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Merritt eyes first PGA Tour Victory

BY PETER HAILEY, CSNwashington.com 

Troy Merritt was pleased with the way he was striking the ball during the first two days of the Quicken Loans National at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va., but his struggles with putting prevented him from truly climbing the leaderboard.

On Saturday, however, those problems with the flat stick were fixed, and Merritt shot a 10 under 61 on the day -- a new course record.

Talk about making a move on moving day.

"I hit the ball pretty much like I did the first two days," Merritt said after his round. "The biggest difference was the first two days I missed 11 putts inside of 12 feet. Today they all went right in the hole."

Merritt entered the clubhouse as the tournament's leader at 14 under overall. He put the picturesque conditions of the course that sits on Lake Manassas to good use, and read the greens well from the first hole to the last.

"Just a hint of breeze," he said. "They [the greens] were still soft. Rolled pretty smooth and took advantage of that."

As for his approach for Sunday, where he'll be the hunted as opposed to a hunter, Merritt just wants to continue what he did on Saturday. And if he's able to, there's a strong chance that he'll take home his first career PGA Tour victory.

"Just kind of keep doing what I'm doing," Merritt said, who's currently the 180th ranked player in the world. "The ball strikes have been there all week...The way I rolled it today, I'll be pretty confident on the greens and maybe we can make one or two early to get things going."

Whether that happens or not remains to be seen. One thing that is for certain, though: When people look up the lowest rounds in the history of the QLN, Merritt will be at the top of the list, all alone with his 61.

For someone whose name was only recognizable to the most hardcore of golf fans at the beginning of the week, that's quite an accomplishment.

Why is the PGA Championship in May? A 2019 preview

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USA Today Sports

Why is the PGA Championship in May? A 2019 preview

The 2019 PGA Championship has been moved up in the PGA's calendar in an attempt finish the season earlier. The tournament has been contested in August since 1972, and the 101st installment of the event will be the first to take place in May since 1949.

When is the 2019 PGA Championship?

The tournament tees off on Thursday, May 16 with the final round taking place on Sunday, May 19. 

Why was the 2019 PGA Championship moved to May?

A couple of reasons factored into this decision. Every fourth year, the date needed to be shifted to account for the Summer Olympics. Shifting to May avoids having to make this quadrennial tweak. The switch also allows the FedEx Cup Playoffs to begin and end earlier, such that the Sunday rounds of those tournaments do no have to compete with NFL Sundays.

Where is the 2019 PGA Championship being played?

The tournament will be played at Bethpage Black Course in Long Island, New York, for the first time in its history. This course has hosted two majors in the past -- the U.S. Open in 2002 and 2009 (won by Tiger Woods and Lucas Glover, respectively).

Where can you watch the 2019 PGA Championship?

You can watch the tournament live on both TNT and CBS. Here is the breakdown of which parts of the tournament will be on which network:

First Round, Thursday, May 16: 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. on TNT

Second Round, Friday, May 17: 1:00 to 7:30 p.m. on TNT

Third Round, Saturday, May 18: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on TNT, 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on CBS

Fourth Round, Sunday, May 19: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on TNT, 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on CBS


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Donald Trump to award Tiger Woods with Presidential Medal of Freedom Monday

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Donald Trump to award Tiger Woods with Presidential Medal of Freedom Monday

WASHINGTON  -- President Donald Trump will present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Tiger Woods next week.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says an awards ceremony will be held in the Rose Garden on Monday.

Woods overcame personal and professional adversity to win his fifth Masters title last month. Trump tweeted after the tournament that he had congratulated Woods and informed him that he would be receiving the medal because of his "incredible Success & Comeback in Sports (Golf) and, more importantly, LIFE."

It's the nation's highest honor for a civilian and presidents have wide discretion over whom to award it.

Trump is an avid golfer who played with Woods at Trump's golf club in Jupiter, Florida, in February. Trump also watched the Masters from his Virginia golf club.