John Merrick wins the Northern Trust Open

Harry How

John Merrick beat Charlie Beljan in a two-hole playoff to win the 2013 Northern Trust Open and earn his first career PGA Tour victory.

John Merrick won the 2013 Northern Trust Open in a playoff over Charlie Beljan on Sunday. It was the second-straight year that the Open finished on No. 10 at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. The Los Angeles native and UCLA grad notched the first win of his career.


Merrick began the day in second place at 9-under. Bill Haas appeared to have a commanding lead at 12-under, but he gave it back with six bogeys on the day, five of which came over an eight-hole stretch. Merrick shot 2-under on the day, making birdie on hole Nos. 1, 7, 10 and 11.

Beljan fired up the leaderboard. His 4-under tied Sang-Moon Bae for the lowest score of the day. He had to hit birdie on the 18th to force extra holes. Fredrik Jacobson was tied for the lead on the 18th, but hit bogey to set up the two-man playoff.

Beljan appeared to have an advantage on the first playoff hole, after his drive landed down the center of the fairway and Merrick pulled his right. Beljan's wedge approach went left, however. Both men saved par to force a second hole, where Merrick made par with a safe approach to the hole. Beljan's drove aggressively off the tee and sent his ball far right, leaving little chance to make up strokes.

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