Merritt’s first Open Championship appearance comes two weeks after he lost a five-hole play-off to Cameron Davis at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
The American, whose world ranking improved from 129th to 86th, was told there was a place for him in the week before the Championship when Danny Lee withdrew.
He is a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, lifting the 2015 Quicken Loans National by three from Rickie Fowler, with the aid of a third-round 61, and the 2018 Barbasol Championship by one after starting that week with a 62.
Eleven days after his win he underwent emergency surgery to remove a blood clot which went from his chest into his bicep. Two weeks later he competed in the PGA Championship, his doctors telling him the clot may have been caused by an over-developed muscle and that he could need a rib removed to prevent a repeat.
Merritt turned professional in 2018 and, just after winning on the Nationwide Tour during his rookie season, he became only the third golfer to top the PGA Tour qualifying school having led after each of the six rounds – even with a closing double-bogey.