Merritt makes eight birdies to grab PGA Barracuda lead

American Troy Merritt made eight birdies against two bogeys to grab 14 points Saturday and seize the lead after three rounds of the US PGA Barracuda Championship.

The unique event uses a Modified Stableford scoring system that awards points for birdies, eagles and all sub-par scores but subtracts points for bogeys and worse with no points for par.

Merritt, whose PGA titles include the 2015 National and the 2018 Barbasol Championship, opened and closed his front nine with back-to-back birdies and closed his round with double birdies again at 17 and 18.

That lifted Merritt to 33 points and put him atop the leaderboard at the Old Greenwood course at Tahoe Mountain Club in Truckee, California.

Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo, who made six birdies against a lone bogey for 11 points Saturday, and American Maverick McNeeley shared second on 29 total points with American Robert Streb another point back in fourth.