Complete press conference video below.
Merrick, who won his first PGA Tour event in a playoff last year at historic Riviera Country Club, returned to his college alma mater flanked by his former college coach, O.D. Vincent, now the Executive Director of the Northern Trust Open. Current UCLA head coach Derek Freeman and sophomore All-American Jonathan Garrick were also panelists.
Mike Bone, the General Manager of the Northern Trust Open, moderated the press conference, which was attended by a full house of Los Angeles media.
Merrick lettered four seasons (2000-04) for the UCLA golf team, and played for Vincent his final two years (2003-03 and 2003-04). He holds the school record of 165 career rounds played, and averaged 72.9. In 2003 at Oakmont Country Club in Glendale, he won the Pac-10 championship, firing a final round 63 with three eagles on his card to beat Arizona’s Ricky Barnes by 12 shots. Merrick also won the 2003 Inverness Invitational as a senior.
As a professional for the past nine years, Merrick, 31, has won nearly $8 million, including last year’s NTO title. In 2013, he earned more than $2 million and recorded six Top 25 finishes.