Eddie Merrins to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award
April 24, 2012
Hall of Fame coach Eddie Merrins, who guided UCLA to its first NCAA golf championship, will be honored with the American Cancer Society's first Lifetime Achievement Award on May 14 at historic Riviera Country Club.
Merrins, 79, will be honored at the Southern California Invitational, followed by the Southern California Invitational Night of Distinction, an evening of exquisite dining and an exceptional auction.
Known as the "Little Pro," Merrins has enjoyed a playing, teaching and coaching career that spans more than 60 years. An All-American and two-time SEC champion at Louisiana State University, Merrins has played in more than 200 professional events, including eight U.S. Opens and six PGA Championships.
In 1962 after serving as an assistant professional at Merion GC, the Thunderbird CC and at Westchester CC, Merrins became Head Professional and Director of Golf at Bel Air Country Club, a position he held for 40 years. He tutored some of Southern California's most noted celebrities and several PGA Tour players, including major winners Vijay Singh, Ben Crenshaw and Raymond Floyd.
In 1975, he became UCLA's Head Men's Golf Coach and guided the Bruins to 15 straight berths in the NCAA Tournament as well as the 1988 national championship. He led the Bruins to a school record of 65 tournament victories and three conference championships, while coaching 16 All-Americans and two college players of the year. Seven of his former players are still playing professionally: Jay Delsing, Brandt Jobe, Scott McCarron, Steve Pate, Corey Pavin, Tom Pernice, Jr. and Duffy Waldorf.
A member of the LSU and UCLA Athletic Halls of Fame, Merrins was most recently inducted into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame (2008) and the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame (2009). All told, he has been inducted into nine halls of fame.
"Eddie Merrins has devoted his life to the advancement of golf on all levels, particularly as a teacher and coach," said UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero. "The UCLA athletics family is extremely proud of his career accomplishments. I can think of no better person representing golf in Southern California of whom to name this award. It certainly recognizes a dedicated and outstanding career."
The 24th annual Invitational unites Southern California's business, professional and community leaders in raising funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society's life-saving research, education, advocacy, and local free patient service programs. Golf enthusiasts of all skill levels enjoy more than just a great day on the historic fairways. The experience includes welcome hospitality and gift salon, barbeque lunch, auction, putting and driving competition, networking opportunities and a reception.
The inaugural Night of Distinction will be held immediately following the tournament. Seven-time Emmy Award-winning producer Terry Jastrow will serve as Master of Ceremonies. The Lifetime Achievement Award will subsequently be named, "The Eddie Merrins Award."
For information about the May 14 tournament and dinner, click here. Prospective patrons can also contact Cluadia Soto-Neira at (562) 437-0792 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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