BOYLSTON, Mass. – 175 New England Professionals are headed to the Ocean State to chase after the Mahan Trophy at the 103rd NEPGA Championship next week at Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln, R.I. and Agawam Hunt in East Providence, R.I.
The marquis Championship for New England Professionals kicks off Tuesday, September 5th with players playing either Kirkbrae CC or Agawam Hunt before switching sites for Round 2 on Wednesday, September 6th. After a cut to low 60 & ties following Round 2, the Championship will conclude on Thursday, September 7th at Kirkbrae CC.
This year’s Championship will once again feature the largest, and one of the strongest PGA Professional fields in the country. Each of our 175 Professionals are looking to punch their ticket to the PGA Professional Championship.
The two Championship sites will also host the third year of the Women’s Section Championship. The two-day, 36-hole tournament will run concurrently on Tuesday and Wednesday during Rounds 1 & 2. The NEPGA Professionals will play one round at Agawam Hunt and one round at Kirkbrae CC before crowning a Women’s Section Championship after play on Wednesday.
The memberships at both Kirkbrae CC and Agawam Hunt are extremely excited to welcome New England PGA Professionals to their facilities.
For those that have not recently visited Kirkbrae, you’ll find the golf course in amazing shape with many updated green and tee complexes. Kirkbrae has been committed to continued improvement – both on and off the course – while preserving the “bones” of the 60-year plus Geoffrey Cornish design weaving through the hills of Blackstone River Valley. Additionally, Kirkbrae has placed a focus on adapting the golf course to the modern game for players of any level.
Despite a long history of hosting state and regional USGA qualifying events, along with numerous Section and Chapter tournaments, this is the first time the NEPGA Championship has been held at Kirkbrae in the 62-year club history.
“As you will see, our club is very proud of our history and very excited for its future,” said Bradshaw. “Hosting the best players of the New England PGA in the largest Section Championship in the country is an unbelievable honor”.
Since 1897, Agawam Hunt has a storied history in Rhode Island golf. Agawam Hunt was the 16th club to join the USGA and 2nd from Rhode Island. For decades, Agawam Hunt was known to be one of the best conditioned courses in Rhode Island with amazing green complexes and a fun, enjoyable routing. Players will be greeted with fast, undulating greens that will serve as the primary defense of the golf course. Although the par-69 layout measures just over 6,300 yards, it will serve as a proper test of golf for our players and nicely compliment Kirkbrae Country Club. With just two par-5s back-to-back, and five par-3s, the golf course favors accuracy off the tee and precision iron play to get to the proper locations on the green.
Agawam Hunt has been honored over the years to have hosted multiple Rhode Island State Championships and USGA events, as well as a past host of the NEPGA Section Championship, most recently in 1998.
“We are grateful to have been asked to host the 103rd New England PGA Section Championship,” said Rivers. The membership of Agawam Hunt is excited to showcase our classic New England Donald Ross layout. 2023 is a special year for the club, as we celebrate our 125th anniversary, and there is no better way to complete the season than by hosting the New England PGA Championship”.
Returning to the field for the 103rd NEPGA Section Championship are three previous Champions from the past ten years of the Section Championship. Last year at Eastward Ho!, Liam Friedman, PGA captured The Mahan Trophy for the second time in his career. Since 2017, Liam Friedman, PGA, Rich Berberian Jr., PGA, and Shawn Warren, PGA have passed the trophy back and forth to one another on multiple occasions. Each has won the Championship twice during that period, and it will be fascinating to see if that trend continues, or if new blood will get into the mix.
The New England Section Championship will compete for 13 qualifying spots in the 2024 PPC, held in Frisco, TX for the first time at Fields Ranch: East & West Courses.
The 103rd Section Championship is presented by Club Car, Rolex, and Corebridge Financial, with support from Titleist, Footjoy, Golf Channel, TaylorMade, Callaway, Nike, the PGA TOUR, Avidia Bank, Gallagher, and Mohegan Sun.
We would like to extend a special thank you to our gracious host facilities, as well as our host PGA Professionals Mike Bradshaw, PGA and Lou Rivers, PGA, and the members and staff of each club for opening their doors to our premiere Championship.
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.