ROCHESTER, N.H. – The New England PGA’s season-long Stroke Play Series will be decided on Monday at the Avidia Cup Finals when 52 players will tee it up at Rochester CC (Rochester, N.H.) with the Avidia Bank Cup in the balance.
The top five players in the season-long standings control their own destiny and can win the Avidia Bank Cup with an outright win on Monday. Regular-season Stroke Play Series winners Liam Friedman, PGA (Nashawtuc CC), Greg Farland, PGA (Marlborough CC), Steven Hausmann, PGA (Amherst CC), and Frank Dully, PGA (Kernwood CC) fall into that category, along with Nick Jagoe, PGA (Allendale CC), who sits in fifth place with four top 10 finishes, including two T2s, in five Stroke Play events this year.
Friedman and Bob Bruso, PGA (Blackstone National GC) have exchanged blows in the Avidia Cup Finals the last two years. Bruso entered as the points leader in 2018 before Friedman, who was third in the standings, won the tournament to claim the Avidia Bank Cup. Friedman entered as the points leader on his own turf in 2019, but Bruso won the tournament at Nashawtuc after entering in fourth place to snatch the Avidia Cup. This will be the second-consecutive year Friedman enters the finals as the points leader.
Fourteen of the top 15 players in the Avidia Cup Standings will tee it up in the Finals on Monday. The Stroke Play Series points were reset following the five Stroke Play Series events and the Chapter Championships.
The Avidia Cup Finals is also the final chance for players to Skip Wogan Player of the Year points, with 1,950 points going to winner. Shawn Warren, PGA (Falmouth CC) who won his third Section Championship and fourth Assistants Championship in a five-week span leading into the Avidia Cup Finals has 7,369 points and leads second-place Friedman by just 38. Warren has four Skip Wogan awards on his resume, winning the title in 2013, ’14, ’15 and ’18. Bruso, Jeff Seavey, PGA (Goose River) and John Hickson, PGA (Chequessett Y&CC) could also win the Player of the Year award with a win Monday, depending on where those ahead of them in the standings finish.
Thank you to Rochester CC for stepping up to host the Avidia Cup Finals on short notice, after the COVID-19 pandemic forced a late site-change. In all, 240 NEPGA Professionals participated in the series in 2020 by competing in any of five regular-season Stroke Play Series events or their Chapter Championship. The season-long Stroke Play Series and Avidia Bank Cup would not be possible without presenting partner Avidia Bank, or supporting partners Bushnell Golf, Harbor Hemp, Omega and the PGA TOUR.