TOWN AND COUNTRY, Mo. — Troy Merritt was on an operating table last week as doctors removed a foot-long blood clot from his arm and chest. On Thursday, Merritt walked off the 18th green of Bellerive at one over par for the first round of the PGA Championship. He had not seen the course until he teed off at 8:51 a.m., working only on the range and putting green in advance.
“Yesterday I hit balls for the first time. I hit almost 50 balls, and it was throbbing,” Merritt, 32, said of his left arm. “It was manageable, but it was going to be painful.”