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Merrick wins Northern Trust Open

Feb 18th, 2013
Staff Writer

Riviera Country Club || Photo Credit: Dan PerryJon Merrick won the Northern Trust Open yesterday at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, CA, closing with a 2-under 69. It was the first PGA Tour victory for the man who played college golf at UCLA and still lives near the course in the Los Angeles Area, according to

"I can't put this into words," Merrick said off the 10th green, his eyes welling with tears, as posted on "Growing up as a kid, coming out here, I just wanted to play this tournament."

The tournament came down to a sudden death playoff between Merrick and Charlie Beljian. Merrick was able to par two holes in a row and clinched the win when Beljian missed a 5-foot par putt on the second. One especially lucky moment for Merrick came on the par-5 17th hole in regulation, when a missed shot landed behind some eucalyptus trees; the eventual champion was able to find just enough of a gap to get back on the green and finish off the hole with a par.

The 11-under 273 finish put Merrick in an almost sure position to qualify for his first World Golf Championship next moth at Doral. The performance also moved him to No. 4 in the FedExCup.