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Merrick and Fichardt enter World Top 100

February 18, 2013

Local boy John Merrick sealed his first US PGA Tour win as he edged out Charlie Beljan in a play-off for the Northern Trust Open at Riviera, Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles. Merrick, joint second heading into the final day, produced a two under par 69 to finish 11 under overall and join Beljan (67) in a tie-breaker. Both men parred the first play-off hole, the 18th, but when Beljan's par putt on the 18th went by, Merrick could celebrate his first Tour title. Merrick leaps 167 spots in the official World Golf Ranking to 74th place.

Darren Fichardt overcame some late jitters to seal a fourth European Tour title and first co-sanctioned event with the Sunshine Tour at the Africa Open, ensuring the trophy remained in South African hands for another year. The 37 year old began the final round tied at the top of the leaderboard with compatriot Jaco Van Zyl, and there was initially no separating the pair until Fichardt pulled four shots clear around the turn. He moves into 100th position in the Official World Golf Ranking from 146th.

Queenslander Brad Kennedy has won the 2013 Coca-Cola Queensland PGA Championship played at the City Golf Club in Toowoomba. The highest ranked player in the field, Kennedy claimed victory by two shots from Kiwi Michael Hendry with an 18-under 254 and now ranked 146th in the world.

Spain’s Jordi Garcia Pinto claimed his maiden European Challenge Tour title after an intensely dramatic finale at the Barclays Kenya Open, finishing one shot clear of Tim Sluiter, taking him to 372 in the Official World Golf Ranking. It was a thrilling final round from start to finish at the sun-drenched Karen Country Club in Nairobi, and despite standing on the 16th tee with a four shot lead, Garcia Pinto still had to endure a tense finish as Sluiter was afforded an eagle putt at the last to take it to a play-off.






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