Merrick Wins Southern California Amateur
July 23, 2001
UCLA sophomore John Merrick won his second tournament of the summer, and two other teammates placed among the top 15 at the SCGA Amateur Championship July 22 at the LaJolla Country Club.
Merrick, 19, won the 102nd annual event by posting scores of 74-67-70-69--280, four-under par. He moved into contention after his second round, four-under par 67, took the lead after Saturday's third round and captured the title with his final round, two-under par 69. UCLA teammate Travis Johnson, 20, finished second with scores of 71-71-72-68--282, two-under par. Sophomore Steve Conway, who was among the top five entering the final round, finished 13th at 290.
Merrick becomes the first Bruin to win the SCGA Amateurs since Mark Blakely won it in 1982, and Merrick also becomes the tournament's youngest winner since Tiger Woods won as an 18-year-old in 1994.
For Merrick, the victory was his second in seven days. On July 15, he won the Long Beach City Men's Championships with a 15-under par score of 201.
'That win gave me a lot of confidence today, especially when things got interesting on the back nine,' said Merrick. 'I kept my cool and remembered what it felt like to win.'
Johnson's second-place finish was his third of the summer. In June, he finished second at the Long Beach City Championships. A few weeks later, he was the runner-up in the California State Amateur at Pebble Beach.