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Merritt’s playoff bogey gives Davis win at Detroit

DETROIT — Cam Davis won the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title when Troy Merritt missed a 6-foot par putt on the fifth hole of a playoff.

Davis missed putts to win on each of the playoff holes. The 26-year-old Australian left 6-foot and 18-foot putts high, a 25-foot putt low and a 19-footer high. He misread a break on a 12-foot putt on the fifth playoff hole, then won when Merritt made bogey.

Davis closed with a 5-under 67 to match Merritt (68) and Joaquin Niemann (68) at 18-under 270 at Detroit Golf Club. Niemann dropped out of the playoff with a bogey on the first extra hole, his first bogey of the week.

Niemann had a chance to win it on the 72nd hole, but left a 17-foot putt high.

Davis holed a 50-foot sand shot for eagle on the par-5 17th and birdied the par-4 18th to get to 18 under.

Niemann followed with two shots that went 569 yards and he two-putted from 14 feet to take the lead at 18 under, but he quickly had company.

Merritt, who was in the final group with Niemann, made his fourth birdie in a five-hole stretch to share the lead. Davis joined them with the eagle-birdie finish.

The 22-year-old Niemann shared the second- and third-round lead and was runner-up for the third time, including coming up short in a playoff at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Last week at the Travelers Championship, Harris English beat Kramer Hickok in an eight-hole playoff that tied the second-longest sudden death in PGA Tour history. Hickok stuck around to watch the playoff in Detroit after finishing 6 under.

Alex Noren (64) had a share of the lead at 17. He got out of the heat and humidity but planned to leave the comfortable clubhouse as soon someone was a stroke ahead of him, and that happened with a trio of competitors. Noren tied for fourth with Hank Lebioda (68).

Bubba Watson surged up the leaderboard earlier on the hot and steamy afternoon with a 64 to put him at 16 under. That briefly gave him a share of the lead, and he tied for sixth with Brandon Hagy (68).

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