Wentworth puts up a great test for Head Pro-Teaching Pro Championship
Rico Riciputi, PGA (Wentworth by the Sea CC) finished with a 71 (+1) and won a playoff to take home the crown at the NEPGA Teaching Professional Championship. Tom Tobey, PGA (Sandwich Hollows GC) was crowned the Head Professional Champion, finishing with a 69 (-1) and was the only player under par.
The weather was dicey at best heading into the day. The morning groups hit their tee shots without a drop of rain to fall, but as the day progressed, the weather got only worse. The afternoon groups surely had a much tougher time facing down the quirks of Wentworth’s layout, wind gusts, and occasional downpour.
The Teaching Professional contest began and concluded first. As a host PGA Professional, Riciputi had home field advantage on the course, but still struggled with his fellow Professionals. From the start, Riciputi made bogey on the mammoth 450+ yard par 5 hole. But, he wouldn’t be too down for too long.
The second hole is one he’ll remember forever, as he put the best swing he had on the ball, to knock it in the hole for his very first hole-in-one.
“It’s really cool because I got to do it at my home course and in front of my members too, it just means so much more to do it here than anywhere else really,” said Riciputi.
The rest of his round was filled with solid golf, navigating the narrow fairways that Wentworth has to offer. After turning through nine holes at even, he made two birdies on the 11th and 13th holes. But, even he wasn’t without some struggles on the course, and made an 8 on the 14th. He salvaged some of it with a final birdie on the 18th, and finished with a one-over-par 71.
Riciputi, Eric Barlow, PGA (Winchester CC), Rick Karbowski, PGA (auburn Driving Range) all finished tied in the top spot at 71 and headed to a playoff on the first hole. After two perfect shots, Riciputi holed a 25ft birdie putt to win as Karbowski and Barlow made par. It’s his first win in the Teaching Professional Championship.
Assistants' Championship rained out, Bruso crowned Champion
Bob Bruso, PGA (Blackstone National) was crowned the champion of the NEPGA Assistant's Championship after his 18-hole performance of two-under par, 70. He stopped by the New England PGA's Section office on Tuesday to accept his award.
The remnants of Hurricane Florence were too strong for the last NEPGA Championship event of the year to continue. Constant overnight heavy rains rendered the course unplayable, as several areas in Northern Mass, and Southern New Hampshire received over four and a half inches of rain.
This marks Bruso's first championship victory in the New England PGA. In this year's Section Championship at Quidnessett and Warwick CC, he finished T9. The last time he played in the 2016 Assistant's Championship at The Cape Club of Sharon, he finished fifth.
"It's been an awesome year, I've thought I've played pretty well. in the past I've had a hard time finishing tournaments and finishing rounds whenI was new to the section and now playing more and understanding how to finish a round and control my game that's really helped me, so to win a couple of big tournaments shows me I'm getting better at that," said Bruso.
Bruso, along with C.J. Konkowski, PGA; Zack Temple, PGA; Liam Friedman, PGA; Jake Leech, PGA; and Brian Owens, PGA have qualified and will play in the National Car Rental Assistant's Championship at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, FL in November.
Thank you to all of the partners in the event: National Car Rental, Cleveland/ Srixon/ XXIO, John Deere, and Golf Advisor.