Oct. 10, 2002
UCLA All-America golfer John Merrick has been invited to two important amateur events this fall.
On Nov. 24-25 Merrick will play in the prestigious Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic at the El Paso Country Club in El Paso, TX.
The Bruin junior also has been invited to practice for the 39th Walker Cup, scheduled for Sept. 6-7, 2003, at the Ganton Golf Club in North Yorkshire, England.
For 26 years, the Sun Bowl has hosted the college All-America Classic at the El Paso CC. Twenty-four college All-Americans have been invited to play at the historic par 71, 6,781-yard course. Past winners include Davis Love III (1984), David Duval (1991) and Tiger Woods (1995). The University of Toledo's Brad Heaven won last year's 54-hole event with an 11-under par score of 202. This year's field includes reigning U.S. Amateur champion Ricky Barnes, Wake Forest's Bill Haas, and West Coast players Nick Watney of Fresno State, Brock Mackenzie of Washington and Arizona's Chris Nallen among others.
The Walker Cup is an amateur match play event contested between the United States and Great Britain and Ireland. The U.S. Team will consist of 10 players who will compete in a pair of singles matches over two days.
The practice session for prospective Walker Cup team members is scheduled for Nov. 29-Dec.1 at Berkeley Hall Club, Hilton Head Island, SC.
"We are trying to develop a the strongest 2003 squad we can and this will be a wonderful opportunity for the players to meet and to get to know each other," said Fred Ridley, USGA vice president and chairman of the USGA International team selection committee.
"Both events will be great opportunities for John," said UCLA Coach O.D. Vincent. "John has enjoyed a fine career at UCLA, and he has earned the right to play with the best amateur golfers in the country."
In 2001, Merrick won the Southern California Amateur Championship. He is a two-time winner of the Long Beach City Men's Championship and a four-time qualifier for the U.S. Amateur. He earned All-America honors last season by tying for 23rd at the NCAA Championships.