The Long Beach Golf Hall of Fame will be welcoming three exceptional golfers as new members in 2009, according to Hall of Fame chairman Len Kennett. The new members are John Mallinger, John Merrick and Peter Tomasulo.
“The City of Long Beach has a rich tradition of good golf and good golfers, and these fine young men have added to, and will continue to add to, that tradition,” said Kennett.
John Mallinger was born in Escondido, but played college golf at Long Beach State, where he was a three-time All Big West selection. Since graduating, Mallinger has made Long Beach his home. He was a medalist at the 2005 Canadian Tour Qualifying School, but he earned the nickname “Monday Mally” by getting through several fall Monday qualifying events and playing in enough nationwide tour events in 2005 to earn playing privileges for 2006. He breezed through all stages of the qualifying school that year to earn his PGA Tour card. It didn’t take long for him to prove he belonged in “The Big Show,” when he finished third at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am that year, one of 8 top-10 finishes he has recorded so far in his career. Mallinger finished 68th on the money list in 2007, and 98th in 2008. He has also played in three United States Open Championships.
John Merrick was born in Long Beach and attended Wilson High School before playing collegiate golf at the University of California at Los Angeles. Merrick won the Moore League High School Championship while at Wilson and won the 2001 SCGA Amateur Championship at La Jolla Country Club. While at UCLA, Merrick was a three-time All-American and won the 2003 PAC 10 Championship at Glendale’s Oakmont Country Club. Merrick won a Nationwide Tour event in 2006 and finished within the top-25 money winners for the year, earning his PGA Tour membership. He decided to enter that year’s qualifying school in an attempt to increase the number of events he could enter, and it was a good choice, as he finished fourth, dramatically improving his playing opportunities for the following year. Merrick finished 135th on the money list in 2007but again successfully navigated qualifying school that year to improve his position and finished 2008 with 4 top-ten finishes, including a tie for sixth at the US Open at Torrey Pines, which earned him an invitation to the 2009 Masters. He finished second at this year’s 50th Anniversary Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in Palm Springs.
Peter Tomasulo was born in Long Beach and attended Poly High School before entering the University of California at Berkeley to play collegiate golf. Peter was a four-year starter at Cal and captained the Golden Bears to the NCAA Division I National Championship in 2004 and was named an NCAA 1st Team All American that year. Tomasulo earned privileges on the Canadian Tour in 2005, and during a five-week stretch that summer, he won the Long Beach Open (defeating John Merrick by one shot), the Canadian PGA Tour’s Montreal Open and the Nationwide Tour’s Alberta Classic. Tomasulo was on the nationwide tour for four years, and after coming close several times, he finally earned his PGA Tour Card by recording seven top-10 finishes and claiming the number-11 spot on the nationwide money list in 2008.
As always, the Long Beach Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will follow the conclusion of the $165,000 Long Beach Open professional golf tournament at El Dorado Park Golf Course on Sunday, August 2, at approximately 2:30pm.
For more information on the Long Beach Golf Hall of Fame and other golf programs in Long Beach, contact golf superintendent Bob Livingstone at (562) 570-3122.