2016 Avidia Cup Champion looks to defend his title
Matt Baran, PGA (Oyster Harbors Club) shot a four-under par score of 66 to win the final NEPGA Stroke Play Series event of the season at Haverhill Country Club on Monday. The top 54 in the Avidia Bank Cup points listing will make the Avidia Bank Cup Championship at the Misquamicut Club later in September.
Baran started out of the gate on a tear. He made birdies on the second, fourth, eighth, and ninth holes. He made the turn with an eye-popping score of 31, four under par. On the back, Baran kept the birdie barrage moving, making two more birdies on the 12th and 14th holes. He made a couple of quick mistakes, making bogey on the 15th and 17th holes. However, his skill was unmatched and he finished in first place for the event with a four-under-par.
“On the front, I was really on, I rolled a few putts and I don’t think I missed a green,” said Baran, “I started to throw it away a little coming in, but I was able to hold it all together.
All of the New England PGA Stroke Play Series events award points to top finishers. The top 54 point-getters throughout the Series, will play in the Avidia Bank Cup Championship at the Misquamicut Club in Watch Hill, RI on September 26th.
Baran is the defending Avidia Cup Champion and said he is excited to be back to defend his title.
“I’m excited to play at Misquamicut, it’s a really beautiful course. It’ll be great to come back and try to win the Avidia Cup again but I’m really just happy to be back in it again,” Baran said.
Nashawtuc CC Professional takes home his first ever NEPGA Section Championship
Liam Friedman, PGA (Nashawtuc CC) shot a three-under par score of 69 on Wednesday to finish the 97th New England PGA Section Championship with a winning three-day total of eight-under-par 208 at Renaissance GC on Wednesday. Friedman is now forever minted as a New England Section Champion.
Friedman opened his first round with a two-under-par 70. The newcomer from the Western New York Section started his Section Championship at Turner Hill GC on Monday. His score at two-under was immensely impressive considering only five or six professionals finished under par.
On Tuesday, he traveled to Renaissance, eager to build on his game and make the cut. He started his day white-hot on the front nine. He made birdie on the par-3 second hole, and also birdied five and eight. He made the turn at two-under par for the day. On the back nine, Friedman struggled heavily, making bogeys on the 11th, 12th, and 13th. But, he wouldn’t let the wind push him around the course, and closed the door on the final four holes by making birdie on all of them.
“I hit it close a lot. I got off to a good start, made birdie on the second hole and caught a couple of fortunate breaks to keep the round going. Unfortunately had a tough patch in the middle and made four birdies to close the round,” said Friedman.
He was set to play in the final group alongside strong players Bob Bruso, PGA (Essex County Club) and Rich Berberian Jr., PGA (Vesper CC).
In Wednesday’s final round at Renaissance, Friedman continued to shine despite some early struggles. He made bogey on the first and second holes, dropping back to three-under for the event. However, he settled in and got back to even, making birdies on four and five to make the nine-hole turn at even par. He, Berberian and Bruso were all tied at five under par for the tournament.