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Merrick edges Beljan in Calif. playoff

Feb. 17, 2013 at 8:44 PM

PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif., Feb. 17 (UPI) -- John Merrick posted a par on the second playoff hole Sunday, edging Charlie Beljan at the Northern Trust Open for his first career PGA Tour victory.

Beljan forced a playoff when he drained a clutch birdie putt on the final regulation hole to tie Merrick at 11-under 73 after 36 holes. He sank another tricky putt on the first extra hole to extend the playoff but his luck ran out on the second playoff hole at the par-4 10th.

He yanked his drive to the left and then missed a 10-foot putt for par. Merrick tapped in for par to take the title.

Merrick -- a native of nearby Long Beach, Calif. -- carded a 2-under 69 in the final round while Beljan finished with a 4-under 67.

Third-round leader and defending champion Bill Haas stumbled to a 73 Sunday to fall out of contention.

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