• Northern Trust Open, Round Four

Merrick's course nous brings win

ESPN staff
February 17, 2013 « Injured Borini out for season | Chartbeat test »
John Merrick triumphed in a two-way play-off with Charlie Beljan © Getty Images
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Northern Trust Open leaderboard

Local boy John Merrick won his first PGA Tour title by picking up the Northern Trust Open in Pacific Palisades after a play-off with Charlie Beljan.

Merrick hit the rough from the tee in the play-off's first hole but from there he played a cool recovery to match Beljan's par before beating him on the second hole, played out on the Riviera Country Club's 10th.

Having played the course since he was a student, Merrick perhaps had an advantage over Beljan but it was the younger man who carried the momentum into the play-off having nailed an 18-foot putt to birdie the 18th.

That gave him an overall score of 11-under which was matched only by Merrick as both Fredrik Jacobsen and Charl Schwartzel fell by the wayside at the last - Jacobsen due to a sloppy final putt.

Luke Donald's hopes of challenging for the title ended at the 12th hole as he carded a triple bogey. That meant a round of four-over and was a disappointing end to his tournament which promised much after a three-under round on day two.

Webb Simpson ultimately shared sixth spot after he played a back nine in which he found par eight times and bogeyed once.

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