BOYLSTON, Mass. – 178 NEPGA Professionals are set to compete in the 101st Section Championship next week at Worcester Country Club and Marlborough Country Club.
The Championship begins Monday (August 30) at the two courses and concludes on Wednesday (September 1) at Worcester CC.
The NEPGA returns to Worcester CC for the third time (1996, 2009) while competing at Marlborough CC for the first time. The field will alternate between the two sites on August 30 and 31. The top-60 players plus ties will advance to the final round at Worcester on Wednesday, September 1.
The 101st Section Championship also marks the inaugural Women’s Section Championship. The two-day women’s tournament will be contested on Monday and Tuesday with one round played at each facility.
Joe Carr, PGA, the 1975 and 1982 Section Champion, will hit the ceremonial first tee shot at Worcester CC on Monday.
2021 marks the third time the Championship has been played at Worcester CC, with Dana Quigley, PGA capturing his fifth and final title in 1996 and Paul Parajeckas, PGA winning his first Championship in 2009. Worcester CC was the first and is one of three courses in the country to host the Ryder Cup along with both the men’s and women’s United States Open Championships. Worcester famously hosted the inaugural Ryder Cup in 1927, the 1925 U.S. Open, and the 1960 U.S. Women’s Open.
The par-70 Donald Ross design tips out at just over 6,700 yards and features five par-3s and three par-5s. The par-3s saw just 55 combined birdies made in the 2009 Section Championship while the par-5s surrendered just nine eagles and 148 birdies. No hole at Worcester played under par in the 2009 Championship.
The 101st Championship will be played at Marlborough CC for the first time in its history. Marlborough notably hosted three Champions Tour events in the early 1980s, with the eminent Arnold Palmer raising the trophy in 1982.
The classic New England style course tips out at just over 6,500 yards and is a par-71. Players will face a club choice on the first tee before a long par-4 to a severely undulated green on the second hole. Marlborough’s signature hole, the par-3 12th, plays downhill to a small green surrounded by a creek. The finishing hole is a par-3 heading directly to the clubhouse.
Nine former Champions boasting 16 Section Championships will compete in the 2021 field. The former Champions include two-time defending Champion Shawn Warren, PGA, who seeks to become the third in history to win three consecutive Championships (Bob Crowley: 1961-63; Les Kennedy: 1944-46). Warren carded a back-nine 30 for a one-shot victory in 2019 before cruising to a five-shot win in the 100th Championship last year.
Furthermore, Warren (2013, 2019, 2020), Rich Berberian, PGA (2014, 2015, 2018), and Kirk Hanefeld, PGA (2000, 2001, 2003) all look to become the fourth player to capture four career Championships . John Hickson, PGA (1995, 2011) looks to become the 10th player in history to win three Championships.
There are five former Champions who will try to become the 22nd player in history to win the Championship multiple times: Frank Dully, PGA (2006), Liam Friedman, PGA (2017), Chip Johnson, PGA (2002), Ed Kirby, PGA (2012), and Paul Parajeckas, PGA (2009).
The nine Champions in the field have combined to win 15 of the last 21 Section Championships.
The 101st Section Championship is presented by Cadillac, Club Car, and Rolex with support from Titleist, Footjoy, Golf Channel, TaylorMade, Nike, the PGA TOUR, Avidia Bank, Dormie Workshop, and Mohegan Sun.
About the New England PGA: The New England Professional Golfers’ Association (New England PGA) has been making the game of golf better for over 100 years in New England. The New England PGA is a non-profit association dedicated to promoting the game of golf and is one of the 41 sections that comprise the PGA of America. The New England PGA consists of over 900 PGA Class A golf professionals and over 140 PGA apprentices at over 450 golf facilities in five states — Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts & Maine. These facilities include public, private and resort golf courses, teaching centers, and driving ranges.