February 17 2013
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. -- The Northern Trust Open is headed for a second-straight playoff.
Charlie Beljan made an 18-footer for birdie at the 72nd hole to tie John Merrick and Fredrik Jacobson, who were playing one group behind him, for the lead at 11 under. Beljan, who won last year's Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic in the final start of his rookie season, shot 67 in the final round.
Both Merrick and Jacobson just missed the 18th green, settling 41 and 39 feet away. The Swede gave himself a 4-footer to save par but missed while Merrick, the former UCLA standout, made his save from 3. Merrick, who shot 69 on Sunday, is looking for his first PGA TOUR win.
Former Masters champ Charl Schwartzel had one last chance to join Beljan and Merrick in sudden death but he couldn't convert from 24 feet after missing from 6 on the previous hole.
The playoff begins at the 18th hole and then will move to Nos. 10, 14 and back to No. 18, if necessary. Follow along below.
No. 18 (480 yards, par 4) -- Merrick drives into the right rought while Beljan is 36 yards further in the fairway. Merrick punched it out and through the green. Beljan also missed the green to the left -- he's on the fringe and has 26 feet to the pin while Merrick has 27. Merrick chips to 23 inches for the eventual tap-in while Beljan putts 6 feet by and converts.
No. 10 (312 yards, par 4) -- Merrick didn't hit his tee shot as far left as he did in regulation but he laid up to an 87-yard second shot, which was 1 yard less than in regulation. Beljan, meanwhile, took driver and the ball strayed well left into the rough
Merrick's second shot found the green and settled 19 feet from the pin. Beljan's second landed on the fringe, 71 yards away from the pin and he putted to 5 feet. Merrick's birdie try stopped 21 inches and he went ahead and tapped in for the par. When Beljan's par putt slides across the hole, Merrick has his first PGA TOUR victory.