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Inaugural Merrins-Crow Plate played at Haesley Nine Bridges

May 21, 2013

WCC founder David Smith and Chairman Eddie Merrins and Committee Member Terry Jastrow present Merrins-Crow plate to champions. (l to r) Soon Ho Park, Chris Kwon, Terry Jastrow, David Smith, Eddie Merrins, Tom Stephenson, Jason Perry.

The 2013 World Club Championship returned to its home course, The Club at Nine Bridges, to celebrate a decade of competition. The Championship is being hosted by the most renowned Clubs in Korea; Nine Bridges on Jeju Island and Haesley Nine Bridges near Seoul.

Invited from GOLF Magazine's Top 100 Courses in the World 2011 list, a total of 22 clubs from 14 countries, including all past champions, traveled thousands and thousands of miles to compete head to head for the Jay Lee Trophy. Patrons also arrived from all over the world including India, Australia and the UK. Many have attended past World Club Championships so it becomes a reunion of old friends and a time to make new friends.

On Sunday, May 19th Haesley Nine Bridges, recently acknowledged as one of 100 Platinum Clubs of the World, hosted a member/player/patron tournament for the inaugural Merrins – Crow Plate. The plate honors ten years of contributions by the Committee Chairman, Eddie Merrins from Bel – Air Country Club and Championship Referee, Tom Crow, former Australian amateur Champion and founder of the Cobra Golf Company.

Finishing in first place with a score of 133 were Royal Melbourne players Jason Perry and Tom Stephens from Australia who teamed with Haesley members Soon Ho Park, Sun Jong Kwon. Each was honored with a presentation of the Merrins-Crow plate given to them by Eddie Merrins at an elegant dinner with festive entertainment in the award winning club house.

Joe Passov, Top 100 Editor GOLF Magazine presents Hole in One photo to Antonio Cavero Mitjans of Valderrama Golf Club.

A separate award was given to Antonio Cavero Mitjans who scored a hole in one on PGA No. 5.

Today, all teams had a chance to get acquainted with The Club at Nine Bridges currently ranked #49 in the World by GOLF Magazine. Some players have returned and witnessed first-hand the many improvements to the course since 2011. Comments ranged from "awesome" to "the best I've played" to "tremendous!"

In the practice competition, some accomplishments stood out. Pierre-Alexis Rolland (Oitavos GC) had two eagles: Highland Course #1 & #3. Jamie Richardson (Royal Portrush) eagled #3 on the Creek Course #3.

Following practice Lil Pro Eddie Merrins declared the Championship Open for 2013 at the Opening Ceremony. In attendance to help celebrate the Opening was celebrity PGA Tour player K. J. Choi.

The teams were individually introduced with their caddies dressed to represent the club's country. Country flags were raised and country anthems were played. Traditional Korean drum, children cheerleaders and a duet by local singers singing the WCC song entertained the players and guests.

The three-day tournament begins tomorrow. See schedule below.

Wednesday Qualifying Round Schedule (May 22)

9:30 Seminole Kingston Heath
9:40 Royal Troon Los Angeles
9:50 Diamante Oakmont
10:05 Tokyo Valderamma
10:15 Durban Royal Portrush
10:25 St Georges Haesley
10:40 The Club at NINE BRIDGES Morfontaine
10:50 Pine Valley Royal Melbourne
11:00 Sunningdale Muirfield Village
11:15 St Andrews Oitavos Dunes
11:25 Oakmont Royal St Georges

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