John Merrick broke through for his first PGA TOUR victory Sunday at the Northern Trust Open and moved to No. 4 in the season-long FedExCup race. This isn’t Merrick’s first foray into the FedExCup top 5, however.
Merrick was a 2009 runner-up in the Bob Hope Classic (now the Humana Challenge) and cracked the top 5 for the first, and only previous, time that week. Merrick would add top-10 finishes at three other events -- including the Masters and the PGA Championship -- that season but would only qualify for two legs of the FedExCup Playoffs before bowing out in 75th position.
Merrick’s best career FedExCup result was a 40th-place finish in 2008. He was 87th after the Northern Trust Open that year so now he’ll get a head start on trying to improve upon that mark.
While Merrick’s 96-position vault from 100th to fourth was substantial, NTO runner-up Charlie Beljan’s 102-spot move from 115th to 13th was the week’s biggest. Beljan, who earned his maiden victory last year at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, had missed four cuts in four starts since his T23 at the Hyndai Tournament of Champions but got right back on track with a stellar showing at Riviera.
Also making moves were Fredrik Jacobson -- who now has back-to-back top-10s since missing the cut in his season debut -- and 2010 FedExCup champion Jim Furyk.
Below are the biggest movers, both up and down, following the Northern Trust Open.