How it happened: Merrick wins Northern Trust

John Merrick hits his tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the Northern Trust Open.

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Deutsche Bank Championship

Memphis, TN - TPC Boston

3:13:16 PM ET. 08/27/2014




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Just call it home cookin.

John Merrick, a UCLA product and Los Angeles native, defeated Charlie Beljan on the second hole of a playoff at the Northern Trust Open to win his first PGA Tour title on Sunday at Riviera Country Club.

Merrick fired a 2-under 69 on Sunday, his third round in the 60s for the tournament. Beljan made a dramatic 18-footer for birdie on the 72nd hole to force the playoff, but an aggressive decision on the par-4 10th hole in the playoff ended up costing the 2012 Children's Miracle Network Classic winner.

Here's how it all happened Sunday:

• • •

Playoff: Second hole (No. 10)

Off the tee: John Merrick lays up at the drivable par-4, the same strategy that led to birdie earlier in the fourth round. Beljan decides to attack it with driver and hooks it well to the left and he'll have a tough second shot.

Second shot: Merrick plays a fantastic wedge into the green, spinning it to about 15 feet under the hole. Beljan has to chip toward the middle of the green instead of the flag, and it comes up short of the green. He'll need to get up-and-down from there and hope that Merrick misses his birdie putt.

Third shots: Beljan puts his third shot to about 5 feet left of the hole, a great effort from about 75 feet.

On the green: Merrick two-putts for a par to put the pressure on Beljan to make his 5-footer, which he doesn't and Merrick wins his first PGA Tour title.

• • •

Playoff: First hole (No. 18)

Off the tee: John Merrick sends his tee ball to the right and will have to hit a slice to get to the green with his second shot. Charlie Beljan bombs his drive down the middle of the fairway, giving his drive a little twirl in the process. Advantage, Beljan.

Approach shot: Merrick gets creative and punches his ball all the way up to the green and it comes to rest in the rough at the back. Very brave shot. Beljan pulls his second shot a bit and comes to rest right on the collar between the fringe and the rough, leaving a difficult third shot upcoming.

Around the green: Merrick plays a great third shot, chipping it to about 2 feet above the hole. Beljan runs his birdie putt about 5 feet past the hole.

On the green: Beljan and Merrick both bury their par putts and we're moving on to a second playoff hole.

• • •

Update #57: 6:45 p.m. EST

On No. 18: Charl Schwartzel can't work his way into the playoff, missing his birdie putt to the right and he settles for a two-putt par to finish at 10 under and in a tie for third. Bill Haas finishes birdie-birdie to join Schwartzel at 10 under.

• • •

Update #56: 6:38 p.m. EST

On No. 18: After watching Bill Haas deliver a great second shot to about 5 feet under the hole, Charl Schwartzel takes wedge and leaves himself about 18 feet from the right to move into a tie for the lead.

• • •

Update #55: 6:34 p.m. EST

On No. 18: Fredrik Jacobson pulls his par putt and falls out of the playoff and finishes at 10 under. But John Merrick does get his to fall and he enters the clubhouse tied with Charlie Beljan at 11 under.

• • •

Update #54: 6:32 p.m. EST

On No. 18: Fredrik Jacobson's chip comes up about 3 feet short of the hole. Merrick's birdie attempt slides by on the right and has about 2 feet to save par. Meanwhile, back on the tee, Charl Schwartzel hammers his tee ball up the right side.

• • •

Update #53: 6:26 p.m. EST

On No. 18: Fredrik Jacobson gets caught in the left greenside rough, while John Merrick goes right and will putt from just off the green. Both must par to stay in a tie for the lead.

On No. 17: Charl Schwartzel's birdie putt bobbles and he misses, settling for a disappointing par and will need a birdie on No. 18 to join the leaders.

• • •

Update #52: 6:24 p.m. EST

On No. 17: From about 60 feet, Charl Schwartzel knocks his eagle try to about 4 feet past the hole, which he'll have to tie for the lead.

• • •

Update #51: 6:21 p.m. EST

On No. 18: On the green, Charlie Beljan nails an 18-footer to move to 11 under to get into the clubhouse with the lead.

• • •

Update #50: 6:16 p.m. EST

On No. 18: Both John Merrick and Fredrik Jacobson hit the left side of the fairway at the difficult finishing hole.

On No. 17: Charl Schwartzel hit his drive so far that he is able to use iron into the green at the par-5 and puts it on the front edge, where he will likely be able to putt for eagle.

• • •

Update #50: 6:16 p.m. EST

On No. 17: Fredrik Jacobson cannot convert on his 8-footer for birdie and settles for a par to stay at 11 under, while Merrick does the same as they stay in the lead by one.

• • •

Update #49: 6:12 p.m. EST

On No. 17: Fredrik Jacobson hits a nice wedge to about 8 feet behind the hole and will have a nice look at birdie to take the lead. Merrick does get out of trouble and hits the green, but will have 35 feet for birdie. Back on the tee, Charl Schwartzel blasts a drive that finds the right side of the fairway. He might be able to get after the green in two.

• • •

Update #48: 6:09 p.m. EST

On No. 17: Jacobson lays up nicely to about 100 yards in front of the green at the par-5, while Merrick's lay-up finds the left rough and has tree trouble.

On No. 16: Schwartzel can't convert on his slippery downhill birdie putt and settles for a par. He motioned at the birdie putt like it hit something toward the end.

• • •

Update #47: 6:03 p.m. EST

On No. 17: Co-leader Fredrik Jacobson lays up off the tee at the par-5, just putting it in the middle of the fairway with a 3-wood. The other co-leader John Merrick takes driver and finds a fairway bunker on the right. Both will be laying up with their second shots. Ahead on the green, Hunter Mahan bogeys to fall back to 9 under, while Charlie Beljan pars to stay at 10 under.

On No. 16: Charl Schwartzel takes dead aim at the far-right pin on the par-3 and it pays off, as he'll have about 6 feet for birdie.

• • •

Update #46: 6 p.m. EST

Back at the 15th hole, Simpson comes up short of the green with his second shot, while Charl Schwartzel is able to get his approach on the green and about 30 feet right of the flag.

Schwartzel thought he had his birdie putt, as it slides by on the left and he settles for a par heading to his final three holes, needing to make up at least one shot on co-leaders Fredrik Jacobson and John Merrick.

Simpson can't get up-and-down from the fringe and drops back to 9 under.

• • •

Update #45: 5:55 p.m. EST

After watching Merrick nearly hole out, Fredrik Jacobson does get his birdie putt to fall and moves into a tie for the lead at 11 under.

• • •

Update #44: 5:53 p.m. EST

John Merrick nearly drains a 50-footer for birdie on the par-3 16th, hitting the flagstick. He taps in for par to stay at 11 under and will head to Riviera's final par-5.

• • •

Update #43: 5:50 p.m. EST

The final group has teed off at No. 15 and both Schwartzel and Simpson find the left rough, with Schwartzel behind the gallery. Both players are one shot off the lead with four holes to play.

• • •

Update #42: 5:44 p.m. EST

Charl Schwartzel chooses to chip his second shot from just off the green at the par-3 14th hole and leaves it 3 feet short, which he cleans up for a par to stay at 10 under and one off the lead. Webb Simpson also two-putts for a par to remain at 10 under.

Fredrik Jacobson birdies the par-4 15th hole to join the group of five players at 10 under, all one back of John Merrick. Charlie Beljan and Hunter Mahan are the others at 10 under.

• • •

Update #41: 5:38 p.m. EST

John Merrick, chasing his first PGA Tour victory, flirts with disaster off the tee at the par-4 15th, hitting a tree, but it drops down into the fairway, about 250 yards from the green. His second shot runs to about 5 feet off the green, a nice recovery.

• • •

Update #40: 5:36 p.m. EST

Playing the par-3 14th hole, Schwartzel comes up just short of the green, but will be able to putt from about 20 feet. Webb Simpson overcooks his tee ball a bit and sends it to the back of the green, around 100 feet from the cup. Both players are one shot back of John Merrick, who holds the solo lead after Hunter Mahan bogeyed No. 15.

• • •

Update #39: 5:30 p.m. EST

Schwartzel gives his birdie attempt at the 13th a chance to go in, but runs it about 5 feet past on the right. He buries the par putt to stay within a shot of Hunter Mahan and John Merrick, who makes a lengthy par save ahead at the 14th hole.

Bill Haas has completely fallen apart, picking up yet another bogey to fall to 8 under on the tournament and three off the lead.

• • •

Update #38: 5:22 p.m. EST

Charl Schwartzel puts his second shot at the par-4 13th hole about 40 feet right of the flag, just on the fringe. Meanwhile, Webb Simpson flirts with the hazard line left of the green and in some long rough. Bill Haas hits a bad second shot to just behind a tree and manages to muscle his third shot just onto the green, where he'll have the length of the green to save par.

• • •

Update #37: 5:14 p.m. EST

We are tied again atop the Northern Trust leaderboard, as Hunter Mahan buries a 25-footer for birdie on No. 14, while John Merrick pays the price for a poor second shot at No. 12 and both are now 11 under.

• • •

Update #36: 5:08 p.m. EST

Simpson's birdie attempt hits the hole and rims out, and he has to settle for a par at No. 12 to stay at 10 under. Schwartzel's birdie putt comes up short of the hole and he also stays at 10 under.

Meanwhile, Bill Haas moves to 3 over on the round with a bogey at No. 12 to fall three back of leader John Merrick

• • •

Update #35: 5:02 p.m. EST

Simpson and Schwartzel give themselves a good look at birdie by hitting the green at the par-4 12th hole, while Haas overcooks his second shot and finds the rough at the back of the green.

• • •

Update #34: 4:57 p.m. EST

Schwartzel and Simpson hit the fairway at the par-4 12th hole, while Haas pushes his tee ball to the right and into the rough.

Up ahead, Merrick two-putts from the edge for a par to stay at 12 under, while Fredrik Jacobson narrowly misses his birdie attempt and stays at 10 under.

• • •

Update #33: 4:50 p.m. EST

Three two-putt pars for the final group of Haas, Simpson and Schwartzel, who all stay at 10 under, two back of John Merrick.

• • •

Update #32: 4:48 p.m. EST

Hunter Mahan falls back to 10 under - with four others - with a bogey at No. 12. John Merrick now owns a two-shot lead.

• • •

Update #31: 4:41 p.m. EST

Bill Haas is struggling, pushing his second shot at the par-5 11th hole well to the right. Meanwhile, Webb Simpson's second shot comes up short of the green and in the rough.

• • •

Update #30: 4:38 p.m. EST

John Merrick takes the outright lead with an 8-footer for birdie on the 11th to get to 12 under, one clear of Hunter Mahan.

Meanwhile, Schwartzel goes right of the fairway at the par-5 11th and has to hit out sideways, leaving more than 200 yards into the green.

• • •

Update #29: 4:28 p.m. EST

Schwartzel is the only member of the last group to cash in on the short par-4, with the ball twisting off the back and into the cup. Schwartzel moves to 10 under, now one back of John Merrick and Hunter Mahan.

Bill Haas drops a shot after missing a 6-footer for par and is now 10 under, while Webb Simpson two-putts to stay at 10 under.

• • •

Update #28: 4:17 p.m. EST

Simpson decides to lay-up with iron at the drivable par-4 10th, while Schwartzel puts it on the edge of the green and Haas sends it through the green and into the rough. Haas will have a difficult pitch shot over a bunker for his second.

• • •

Update #27: 4:14 p.m. EST

We have a new co-leader after John Merrick buries a birdie putt at No. 10 from just off the green, moving to 11 under with Bill Haas (11 under) watching back on the tee.

• • •

Update #26: 4:07 p.m. EST

Schwartzel gives his birdie putt a nice run, but it runs by on the right and he settles for a par to stay at 9 under. Simpson gets back to 10 under with a birdie, hitting the right edge and dropping in.

A solid two-putt par for Haas keeps him at 11 under at the turn, one shot clear of three others.

• • •

Update #25: 4 p.m. EST

Haas' second shot at No. 9 finds the top shelf and will have about 50 feet for birdie, while Simpson and Schwartzel have about 20 feet from each side of the hole.

• • •

Update #24: 3:57 p.m. EST

Three drives, three pushes to the right at the par-4 9th hole for the final group. Leader Bill Haas is on the cart path, while Simpson and Schwartzel are in the right rough.

• • •

Update #23: 3:50 p.m. EST

Bill Haas hits a horrid chip shot from the rough and leaves himself nearly 30 feet for par and he two-putts for a bogey to fall back to 11 under, one shot ahead of four others. Webb Simpson buries his 15-footer to save bogey and drops back to 9 under.

A two-putt par for Schwartzel on No. 8 that leaves him two back of the lead.

• • •

Update #22: 3:43 p.m. EST

Webb Simpson is in all sorts of trouble on No. 8, hitting out-of-bounds on the right and having to take a penalty shot. With his third, he hits a bank in front of the green and will have a long chip shot to try and save par.

Meanwhile, Bill Haas finds a fairway bunker off the tee and comes up well short of the green with his second. Charl Schwartzel hits the green in regulation and will have 20 feet for a birdie.

• • •

Update #21: 3:36 p.m. EST

The leaderboard is getting crowded, as Hunter Mahan, Charlie Beljan, Fredrik Jacobson, Webb Simpson and John Merrick are all two back at 10 under, while Charl Schwartzel is three back at 9 under.

• • •

Update #20: 3:27 p.m. EST

A solid par at No. 7 for Charl Schwartzel leaves him at 9 under, while Simpson misses a 5-footer for birdie to stay at 10 under. But both players gain a stroke after Bill Haas misses an 8-footer to bogey and fall back to 12 under. Simpson, Fredrik Jacobson and John Merrick are two shots back.

• • •

Update #19: 3:22 p.m. EST

Webb Simpson and Bill Haas both hit the fairway at No. 7, while Charl Schwartzel finds a fairway bunker. Simpson knocks it to about 5 feet with his second shot, while Haas comes up short of the green and Schwartzel has about 35 feet from behind the hole.

• • •

Update #18: 3:13 p.m. EST

A little fist pump from Bill Haas here, as he manages to save par from 12 feet at No. 6 to stay at 13 under. And his lead is back to three shots after Webb Simpson misses his 5-footer to pick up his first bogey of the day, slipping back to 10 under. Schwartzel two-putts for a par to stay at 9 under.

• • •

Update #17: 3:09 p.m. EST

Bill Haas comes up short of the green with his tee ball at the par-3 6th hole and his putt from about 60 feet comes up about 12 feet short. Webb Simpson's tee ball finds greenside rough in the back and he plays a nice shot to about 5 feet above the hole. Schwartzel is the only player to hit the green, leaving himself a 15-footer for birdie.

• • •

Update #16: 2:56 p.m. EST

A two-putt par at the par-4 5th hole keeps Bill Haas at 13 under, two clear of Webb Simpson, who gets up-and-down for a par. Charl Schwartzel moves back to even on the day with a birdie to move back to 9 under, four off the lead.

• • •

Update #15: 2:50 p.m. EST

Don't look now, but Hunter Mahan is on fire early, moving to 4 under through six holes with a birdie at No. 6 and is 10 under overall, three back of Bill Haas.

• • •

Update #14: 2:44 p.m. EST

For the first time on Sunday, all three players (Haas, Schwartzel, Simpson) in the final group hit a fairway. They were a cumulative 0-for-9 heading into the par-4 5th hole.

• • •

Update #13: 2:38 p.m. EST

A pair of two-putt pars for Webb Simpson and Charl Schwartzel at the par-3 4th hole, while Haas knocks in a 6-footer to save par at stay 13 under, two clear of Simpson.

• • •

Update #12: 2:29 p.m. EST

After a wait on the tee box at the par-3 4th hole, Simpson hits a nice tee ball with a hybrid to about 20 feet left of the hole, while Haas barely makes the green with a 3-iron. Schwartzel hits the best shot of the final group, getting it within 12 feet of the hole.

• • •

Update #11: 2:21 p.m. EST

Haas puts a great roll on his birdie attempt and it drops at No. 3, moving him back to 13 under. He has started birdie-bogey-birdie. His lead remains two shots after Webb Simpson matches the birdie to move to 11 under.

Charl Schwartzel gets up-and-down from the bunker to stay at 8 under, but is now five shots off the lead.

• • •

Update #10: 2:15 p.m. EST

Webb Simpson with the best approach shot at No. 3, coming to rest about 5 feet above the hole. Haas also holds the green, but is about 25 feet above the hole. Schwartzel finds a greenside bunker in front of the hole.

• • •

Update #9: 2:11 p.m. EST

The last group can't seem to find the fairway, as Haas, Schwartzel and Simpson are a combined 0-for-9, with Haas and Simpson going left at the par-4 3rd hole, while Schwartzel pushes his to the right.

Meanwhile, Fredrik Jacobson has moved to 10 under with a birdie at No. 3.

• • •

Update #8: 2:06 p.m. EST

Bill Haas' bogey-free streak ends at 41 holes after failing to get up-and-down from a greenside bunker at the par-4 2nd hole, falling back to 12 under.

He remains two shots ahead of John Merrick and Webb Simpson, who pars No. 2. Charl Schwartzel stays four back after a bogey at No. 2 that causes him to fall back to 8 under.

• • •

Update #7: 2 p.m. EST

Another fairway-less hole for the final group, with Haas on the right and both Simpson and Schwartzel in the rough to the left. Haas has tree trouble and leaves it well short of the green, while Simpson and Schwartzel both leave it in greenside rough, Simpson on the right and Schwartzel on the left.

• • •

Update #6: 1:55 p.m. EST

Bill Haas is 0-for-2 in fairways hit thus far, pushing his tee ball well right again and into the trees on the par-4 2nd hole.

• • •

Update #5: 1:49 p.m. EST

An opening par for Charl Schwartzel, whose chip from off the green ran about 8 feet past the hole and he couldn't convert on the birdie putt. Moments later, Bill Haas does make his birdie putt to move to 13 under and is three shots clear of John Merrick and Webb Simpson, who also birdies No. 1.

• • •

Update #4: 1:42 p.m. EST

Despite the errant tee balls from the final group, Simpson gets his second ball to the edge of the green, Schwartzel muscles his off the back of the green and Haas lifts his over a tree from 200 yards to land on the green. All three will have a look at eagle at the par-5 1st.

• • •

Update #3: 1:37 p.m. EST

Haas' lead is now only two shots after John Merrick opens his round with a birdie to move to 10 under. Both Luke Donald and Fredrik Jacobson also birdie the opening hole to get to 9 under.

• • •

Update #2: 1:34 p.m. EST

The final group is on the course. Bill Haas doesn't like his first tee ball immediately, as it sails well right of the fairway at the short par-5, sailing the gallery. Webb Simpson goes the other way, overcooking his tee ball to the left and on the other side of the gallery as well. Charl Schwartzel follows the same line as Haas, pushing his tee ball to the right. A fairway-less final group.

• • •

Update #1: 1:30 p.m. EST

The weather promises to be perfect today at Riviera, with highs in the mid-60s and a light breeze of up to 7 mph. The greens are hard and will not be as receptive as they were on Saturday.

On the course, Charlie Beljan and Josh Teater both birdie the par-5 1st hole to move to 8 under, four back of Bill Haas.

• • •

Round 3 coverage

IN LOVE: On a week that the world celebrates Valentine's Day, Bill Haas is showing off his current love affair with Riviera Country Club after a 7-under 64 vaulted him into a three-shot, 54-hole lead at the Northern Trust Open. Story.

IN STRIDE: Raymond Floyd is outspoken about the lack of criteria for a golfer to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, remarks that ultimately are aimed at good friend and 2013 inductees Fred Couples and Colin Montgomerie. Story.

TRACKER: Saturday was Moving Day at the Northern Trust Open, and Bills Haas did just that. Haas shot a 7-under 64 to take a three-shot lead into the final round. See how it happened.

• • •

Round 2 coverage

5 THINGS: Luke Donald may not be the World No. 1 anymore, but he's only concerned with improving his game. So far in his 2013 PGA Tour debut, Donald is two shots back of the lead heading into the weekend at Riviera. Story.

TIED ON TOP: Sang-Moon Bae and Fredrik Jacobson posted impressive, albeit surprising, 6-under 65s to vault to the top of the leaderboard at Riviera. Story.

TRACKER: The star-studded field at Riviera didn't disappoint on Thursday, with Matt Kuchar atop the leaderboard. But it was Sang-Moon Bae and Fredrik Jacobson who stole the show Friday, taking a share of the lead entering the weekend. See how it all unfolded!

• • •

Round 1 coverage

TRACKER: In what has been an incredible start to the 2013 PGA Tour season - Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker have all won in the first six weeks - the stars will really get going this week at the Northern Trust Open, which was as good as advertised Thursday. How it happened.

5 THINGS: Sergio Garcia fired a 6-under 65 in his 2013 PGA Tour debut. here are 5 Things you ened to know from Thursday's first round at the North Trust Open. Story.

NOT DONE: Brandt Jobe has overcome injury after injury during the course of his PGA Tour career. He shot 5-under 66 Thursday in just his third round on Tour since surgery last summer to repair two nerve blocks in his neck. Story.

• • •

Pre-tournament coverage

TEE TIMES: A look at the first-round tee times at the Northern Trust Open. Pairings.

STARS COME OUT: Three of the past four major winners, plus the season debuts of Luke Donald, Adam Scott and Graeme McDowell put a spotlight on the Northern Trust Open. 5 Things.

WHICH LEFTY WILL SHOW UP? Phil Mickelson has had a bit of a Jekyll-and-Hyde existence the last two weeks. He nearly shot a 59 at Phoenix, cruising to a four-shot victory. Then he went to Pebble, where he barely made the cut. Which Mickelson will show up this week? Story.

OUT FOR 2013: Spencer Levin says he probably won’t be playing golf again until next season. The silver lining? With the PGA Tour’s new year-round schedule configuration, the start to the 2014 season is only eight months away. Story.

PREDICTIONS: There will be plenty of familiar faces making their 2013 PGA Tour debut this week at the Northern Trust Open. Two of them also make the cut with our panel of experts - with Luke Donald and Charl Schwartzel both registering as overall favorites. Tip Sheet.

CLEAR CONSCIENCE: Blayne Barber might not be one of the 25 marquee players teeing it up at Northern Trust Open, but after his self-disqualification at Q-School, he is simply ready to show off his game on golf's biggest stage. Commentary.

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