A Tradition Unlike Any Other
The first major of the year is upon and it’s arguably the best one. The Master’s Tournament has been played since 1934 and has been a time honored tradition. Augusta National has some of the most breathtaking views and holes in golf. 87 golfers will try and take on the grueling course and come away with one of golf’s most coveted items. The green jacket. Yes, you do actually win a trophy for winning the Masters, but the only thing that players focus on is that green jacket. Yes Tiger Woods is playing in his Masters Tournament since 2015, but he’s not the story to this years Masters. The real story is Brockton, MA’s own, Matt Parziale.
(Photo Courtesy: Forbes)
Matt Parziale’s Ride To Augusta
Only six amateurs get the honor of playing in this year’s tournament and Brockton Fire Fighter Matt Parziale is one of them. Matt quit playing professional golf in 2013 to join the Brockton Fire Department. However; that still hasn’t stopped him from playing the game he loves. He’ll be frequently spotted at the top amateur tournaments in between his 24 hour shifts. Believe it or not, Matt almost became the head golf pro at Brockton Country Club.
So how did he get to play at Augusta National? Well, he’s the current U.S. Mid-Amateur champion. He defeated Josh Nichols of Kernersville, N.C, 8 and 6, in the 36-hole final, but had an amazing comeback in the quarterfinals just to get to the final. Parziale was 5 down with eight to play in the quarterfinals, but came back to defeat Bradford Tilley, who was the top seed. After that, he then went on to beat Dan Sullivan, 5 and 4, in the semifinals. In the final, he made nine birdies through his first 19 holes and 10 birdies overall. Parziale is the first man from Massachusetts to win the U.S. Mid-Amateur championship and the first amateur from Massachusetts since 2003 to compete at the Masters. Also with his Mid-Amateur win, he qualifies for this years U.S. Open as well.
First Round At The Masters
After one round at Augusta, Parziale shot a +9 81 which is 12 strokes behind the leader, Australian Marc Leishman. He started off a little rough with a bogey on one and three but was able to birdie four and five to get back to even. However; he bogeyed six, double bogeyed seven, bogeyed eight and pared nine to finish the front nine at +4 40. This just goes to show that if you keep your mind to something, you can still pull off a pretty cool thing. Parziale tees off tomorrow at 11:37am with Mike Weir and Brendan Steele. He’s living every single golfers dream right now. Playing at Augusta National Golf Club in the Masters.
(Photo Courtesy: Golf Digest)
–Brian Berard (@RockyBerard)