May
8
2010
John Merrick’s 36th Hole Birdie Shatters the Hopes of 15 Players Trying to "Pull a McIlroy"
By Stephanie Wei under General

The cut line is always a talking point during Friday coverage, but never have I heard so much yammering about it than this Friday afternoon. And, well, the number ended up being decided in a fairly dramatic way — about as much as it gets with cuts. Playing in the second-to-last group, John Merrick sank a 14-foot birdie putt on 18 to eliminate 15 players from weekend play.

Had Merrick missed and made par, defending champ Henrik Stenson, Vijay Singh, Angel Cabrera, Stewart Cink, Paul Casey, Camilo Villegas, Ian Poulter and eight others would have a shot at rallying from 11 shots back to capture the so-called fifth major — which as of last Sunday is now called, “Pulling a Rory McIlroy.”

Instead Merrick deprived them a slice of the $9.5 million purse. The nerve! Surely, he heard about the honorable gesture Grant Whybark made for his competitor?

Poulter was just absolutely floored, tweeting,Speechless my friends, John Merrick holes a 13ft birdie putt on the 18th to knock out everyone on -1. I guess the 2 bogeys were costly.”

/reaching for a Kleenex

Meanwhile, Merrick, who has been on the opposite side, was less moved. “Aww, that’s too bad,” he said. “I could say a lot of things, but I’m not going to say anything.”

If I’m one of the 69 other guys playing this weekend, I buy him a drink in anticipation of the considerably fatter paycheck I’ll collect on Sunday.