High Drama in Section Championship Finale
-N. Kingstown, RI
Rich Berberian Jr., PGA (Vesper CC) led wire-to-wire in the New England PGA Section Championship to finish with a three-day total of seven-under-par 206. The lead he had established through the first two rounds of the tournament at eight-under par paid off as he shot a third round score of 73 (+1).
Beginning the day with a bit of a cushion, Berberian Jr. didn’t get the same seamless start that he had hoped for. Admittedly, he said he did not hit the ball as solidly as he would have liked, especially in the beginning of the day. On both the first and third holes, he made bogey.
What saved Berberian Jr, were some very clutch chips out of tough places and long putts. On the fourth hole, Berberian made a 15 foot putt that seemed to be getting his game flowing once again. Even with a bogey on the sixth hole, he came back to make birdies on the eighth and ninth to make the nine-hole turn even to par.
Competition was hot throughout the round between him and Jeff Martin, PGA (Wollaston GC). Martin came into the third round just three shots back from Berberian Jr., which could have been insurmountable, but the door was open.
Martin made bogey on the fourth hole, and couldn’t seem to get his putting stroke down. But on the sixth hole, he chipped in from the fairway to make eagle and get right back into the mix, especially as Berberian made bogey. He made the turn at three-under par for the day and tied for the lead.
Through 13 holes, the Wollaston GC Professional played consistent golf and made pars, and went up two on Berberian Jr. when he made double-bogey on the 13th. Martin’s birdie putt lipped out on the 14th as Berberian made birdie. Berberian went back up two strokes heading into the 16th.
Bigs go Bigger
Martin, Berberian, Jr. Dominate Moving Day
-N. Kingstown, RI
Jeff Martin, PGA (Wollaston GC) shot a second round score of 66 (-6) at Quidnessett Country Club on Tuesday to claim the low score on the day, and the second lowest two-day total at 136 (-5). He trails Rich Berberian, Jr, PGA (Vesper CC) by three strokes heading into the final round.
Martin’s round one score at one-over par at Warwick on Monday was quickly forgotten Tuesday as he put his best round of golf together for the tournament. He made an early birdie on the straightaway par-four first hole, and followed it up with three other birdies on three, six, and nine. The Wollaston GC Professional made the turn at 32 (-4) with no bogeys.
On the back, his solid play stood out, as he capped a bogey-free day with two more birdies to get to six-under-par. However, he knew as well as he played, catching and keeping the leader, Rich Berberian Jr. at bay would be a difficult task.
“I hit the ball ok today, had some crooked shots go not where I wanted in a few places, but I was able to put and chip much better today and that helped me get there. I’m still not low enough to beat Richie (Berberian) but I’m closer, so that’s good before tomorrow,” said Martin.
As Martin put his best game out on the course, Berberian Jr was on the same quest to the top of the leader board. Looking to keep his lead alive on Tuesday, Berberian had strong play from the gates, but didn’t get too far under with a sole birdie on the ninth hole on the front side.
His start on the back wasn’t as planned with a bogey on the tenth. He wouldn’t be down for too long.