LINCOLN, R.I. – The 103rd New England PGA Section Championship final round was held at Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln, R.I. Nestled in the beautiful Blackstone Valley, Kirkbrae is a par-72 championship golf course. Today, Kirkbrae is considered one of the best golf courses in New England.
It was a record-setting week for Rich Berberian, Jr., PGA (Vesper CC) and the New England PGA Section Championship.
Berberian’s record-breaking score of 59 in round 1 at Agawam Hunt paved the way for him to secure the Mahan Trophy with the lowest NEPGA Section Championship score in the tournament’s 103-year history, at 18-under.
Berberian came out on top, as the Champion of the 103rd NEPGA Section Championship on Thursday, September 7th. This was Berberian’s fifth time claiming the Mahan trophy.
Berberian shot a 6-under, 66 in the third and final round, to complete the Championship at 18-under, 195, overall. He collected eight birdies in his final round, including four through the opening nine holes. He birdied three holes in a row, the par-5 third hole, par-3 fourth hole, and par-4 fifth hole. He also birdied the par-4 seventh hole to make the turn at 4-under. After a bogey on the 10th hole, Berberian went on to birdie another 3 holes in a row, 11, 12, and 13. He finished the back nine 2-under, as he ran away with the final 8-stroke lead for the victory.
Eric Barlow, PGA (Winchester CC) held on to his second place spot, finishing 10-under overall, shooting 5-under in the final round. He parred the opening two par-4’s before posting his first birdie of the round on the par-5 third hole. He birdied 6, 7, and 8 and finished the front nine at 3-under. Barlow carded three more birdies on the back nine and went on to finish at 5-under in the final round, 10-under overall for solo second place.
Brendon Ray, PGA (Point Judith CC) and Robert Bruso, PGA (Blackstone National GC) finished at 5-under overall to share third place in the 2023 NEPGA Section Championship.
Ray entered the final round tied for fourth place overall. He shot 2-under in the final round, to move into third place alongside Bruso.
Ray carded one birdie on the front and made the turn at an even par-36. He started the back nine strong with birdies on 11 and 12. A bogey on the par-5 14th hole put him at 1-under. Ray clinched one final birdie on the par-4 16th hole to finish 2-under in round three and 5-under, 208 overall for a share of third place.
Bruso held solo third place entering the final round today. He played steady golf, making four birdies and finishing 1-under on the day. Bruso’s final round score of 70 put him at 5-under, 208 overall in the tie for third.
Berberian received an exemption into the PGA Professional National Championship which will be held from April 28-May 1 at Fields Ranch at PGA Frisco, East & West Courses, Frisco, Texas. He will be joined by 13 other NEPGA Professionals who qualified today:
The 104th NEPGA Section Championship will be held at Tedesco Country Club and Ferncroft Country Club in September, 2024.
A tremendous thank you goes out to Director of Golf and COO at Kirkbrae Country Club, Mike Bradshaw, PGA and the entire Kirkbrae Country Club, as well as and Head Golf Professional at Agawam Hunt, Lou Rivers, PGA and the entire Agawam Hunt staff for serving as hosts of the Championship.
The 103nd Section Championship is presented by Club Car, Rolex, Mohegan Sun, Avidia Bank, Golf Channel, Nike, the PGA TOUR, Corebridge Financial, Titleist, Taylormade, Callaway, Gallagher, and Footjoy.