Sure, the Kodak Challenge is one in a seemingly endless stream of tricked-up golf gimmicks designed to try to hold our attention after the last of the majors has wrapped, but guess what -- this year, it worked out just fine. One million bucks riding on a single playoff hole? Sure, I'd watch that. And now, you can too. Your players are Troy Merritt, Aaron Baddeley and Rickie Fowler. Observe:
Sunday had to be the most nervewracking day in Merritt's professional life. As the morning dawned, he faced the possibility of winning a million bucks and losing his tour card ... or worse, losing out on both.
But as it turned out, thanks to a rough back 9 by Johnson Wagner, Merritt finished within the Top 125 ... at No. 125. So then it was on to the Kodak Challenge.
The Challenge designated 30 holes across the entire season, from which players selected their 18 best against par. The lure of a spare million was enough to lure both Baddeley and Fowler back literally from the other side of the planet, and all three players ended up at 17-under. From there, it was on to a sudden-death playoff, and as you saw, Merritt was able to hang on thanks to a key approach shot.
Merritt, reveling in the moment, called it a "photo finish." Ouch. But we'll let it slide.