Merrick scores home win in Northern Trust Open

UCLA graduate and Long Beach, Calif., native John Merrick won the Northern Trust Open in his sixth start at Riviera CC to become the first player from Los Angeles County to win the event. Merrick made a par-4 on the second playoff hole (No. 10) to defeat Charlie Beljan. It was Merrick's first playoff on the PGA TOUR.

Merrick wins the 18th playoff in tournament history and the second consecutive at Riviera CC. The only other time there has been back-to-back playoffs at the Northern Trust Open was when there was four consecutive from 1969-1972.

This was the second playoff on tour this season (Humana Challenge).

If Merrick stays in the top 10 in the FedExCup standings following the Honda Classic he will earn his first invitation into the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship.

Merrick's best previous finish at the Northern Trust Open was T54 in 2010.

In 14 rounds prior to this week at Riviera CC, Merrick only had three under-par rounds. He had three of four rounds in the 60s this week.

Merrick came from three shots back entering the final round to force the playoff with Charlie Beljan.

Merrick was one of five UCLA alums in the Northern Trust Open field this week, joined by Corey Pavin (MC), Patrick Cantlay (MC), Kevin Chappell (MC) and Brandt Jobe (T61).

In interviews after his round on Friday, Merrick mentioned that he was aware that it was “USC Day” at the Northern Trust Open when he shot a 66. He followed up with a 70 on Saturday on “UCLA Day.”

Merrick has qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs each of the first six years. He finished No. 72 in the 2012 FedExCup standings.

Merrick missed the cut in his first two starts this season at the Humana Challenge and Farmers Insurance Open. He finished T16 last week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Prior to this win, Merrick’s best finishes on TOUR were a pair of runner-up finishes (2009 Humana Challenge and 2012 FedEx St. Jude Classic).

 

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