John Merrick / Reuters
John Merrick won the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club on Sunday, with a final tournament total of – 11 under par. He beat fellow American Charlie Beljan with a par at the second playoff hole, the drive-able par four 10th.
John said of his dream win;
“ Growing up here in LA, I just wanted to come to this tournament. Now to win it, this is a dream come true. You dream, when you’re alone sometimes, you think about different scenarios of winning tournaments. It was fun. We would always play here at UCLA and have great games out here. To be able to play the tournament was a dream of mine. But to win? I can’t describe it. It’s so much fun.”
Charlie did not think too much of hole ten as a play-off hole;
“I think you could play here 10,000 times and still not know how to play No. 10. Eighteen is a great golf hole. I just find it tough that we go to No. 10 to play a playoff hole. I think it’s a great hole, don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking it. But it’s just a tough hole to have a playoff on. We might as well go and put a windmill out there and hit some putts. I made every clutch putt that you would ever ask to make, and then to make that putt on 18 and hear the roar was really special. Obviously, not the way I wanted to end it, but you know what? You win some, you lose some, and that’s how it goes.”
Freddie Jacobson was one of three players who tied for third place, he missed a four-foot par putt on the last green that would have put him into the play-off, he bristled with indignation when asked about that missed chance;
“You want me to touch that one, only that one? I cannot speak about something else? The last putt wasn’t very good.”
Freddie was tied with the defending champion Bill Haas and Charl Schwartzel, all at -10 under par for the tournament.
Bill unfortunately let a three shot lead at the start of play on the last day slip away;
” Positives to be taken, but overall, you don’t get this many opportunities. A three-shot lead at one of the best tournaments of the year is a great opportunity that I squandered.”