John Sampson Merrick (born March 20, 1982) is an American professional golfer.
Merrick was born and raised in Long Beach, California. He grew up playing Recreation Park municipal golf course, a classic layout by William F. Bell. He attended Wilson Classical High School. He is now a member of Virginia Country Club in Long Beach, along with fellow golf professionals John Mallinger and Peter Tomasulo.
Merrick won the Southern California Golf Association Amateur Championship when he was only 19 years old, making him the youngest person since Tiger Woods
in 1994 to capture that title. In 2003, he medaled at the Pac-10 Men's Golf Championships, leading the UCLA Bruins
to their first championship victory since 1985. He shot a course-record 63 at Oakmont Glendale, with three eagles in one round, the only collegiate player to do so that year. At the 2002 U.S. Amateur
at Oakland Hills, he tied for second in stroke play at three-under par 137 (71-66) and advanced to the second round before losing 2&1 to finalist Hunter Mahan
Merrick is currently a member of the PGA Tour
. He was a member of the Nationwide Tour
in 2006. He gained his 2007 PGA Tour card by finishing 21st on the money list in 2006 after his first professional win at the Peek'n Peak Classic
. He then went to Q-School
and finished tied for fourth. He was the first player to improve his status through Q-School. He consistently ranks among the top players in statistics for total driving (length plus accuracy), greens in regulation, and overall ball-striking.
In his rookie year, Merrick played in 29 events, making 16 cuts. His best finish was T-4 at the Reno-Tahoe Open
. After finishing 135th on the money list in 2007, Merrick went back to Q-School where he birdied the last hole to shoot -5 to regain his PGA Tour card for 2008.
On his second full year on tour, Merrick exceeded $1 million in earnings by virtue of 4 top-ten finishes. He got off to a strong start with a T-16 in the Bob Hope Classic (playing as the last alternate into the field) and a career-best T-3 at the Mayakoba Classic at Riviera Maya
. He was the leader after the third round at the rain-plagued Zurich Classic of New Orleans
, finishing T-7. He was medalist at the 2008 U.S. Open sectional qualifying event held at Cordova, Tennessee
, shooting 65-65.
At his second career U.S. Open, he finished T-6 at Torrey Pines, a course he played frequently during his junior golf and amateur career. A long birdie putt on Merrick's 72nd hole earned a pass into the 2009 Masters as well as the 2009 U.S. Open. He qualified for the 2008 PGA Championship with the 70th place ranking in official money standings.
Amateur wins (4)
- 2001 Long Beach City Amateur, Southern California Golf Association Amateur
- 2002 Long Beach City Amateur
- 2003 Pac-10 Men's Golf Championship (individual)
Professional wins (1)
Nationwide Tour (1)
Results in major championships