MANCHESTER, N.H. – Eric Barlow’s (Winchester CC) sensational back-9 at Concord Country Club catapulted him to the 18-hole lead after the first round of the 2019 New England PGA Section Championship on Monday.
Sitting at even-par through 11 holes after his only bogey of the day, Barlow bounced back with four birdies over his final seven holes, including back-to-back birdies to close his round with a 4-under 66. Barlow birdied both of the Par-5s at Concord CC, the 12th and 17th holes, and had five birdies on the day.
While Barlow was busy posting the low-round at Concord CC, his Winchester CC colleague Seul-Ki Park shot the low-round of the day at Manchester Country Club, a 1-under par 70. Park birdied the opening hole but gave it back with a bogey on the Par-3 third. She took advantage of the Par-5 ninth to make the turn in 1-under par, and finished 1-under after a bogey, a birdie, and seven pars on her back-nine. Park enters the second round in a tie for fifth overall.
The runner-up from last year’s Section Championship, Jeff Martin, PGA (Wollaston GC) is sitting in second place after Round 1. Like Barlow, Martin got hot on the back-nine, making four birdies in his final seven holes to post 3-under par 67 with just one bogey on the day. David Bennett, PGA (CC of Vermont) matched Martin’s 67 at Concord CC with five birdies and two bogeys on Monday.
Matt Zdon, PGA (Belmont CC) is in fourth place after back-to-back birdies on Concord’s 14th and 15th holes led to a 2-under par 68.
Fourteen players shot even-par or better in Round 1, with 10 of those coming at Concord CC. Troy Pare, PGA (Ledgemont CC), Brenden Mitchell, PGA (The Country Club) and Erick Carlson, PGA (Worcester CC) shot even-par at Manchester CC to join Park as the only players to head to Concord CC for Round 2 at or below par.
Defending champion Rich Berberian Jr., PGA (Vesper CC) is five strokes off the lead after shooting 1-over 71 at Concord CC on Monday. Berberian made five birdies but suffered a triple-bogey on the Par-3 11th, a double-bogey on the sixth and a bogey on the 14th. He’ll head to Manchester CC tied for 15th.
“I’m probably going to have to play pretty good over at Manchester,” Berberian said after his round. “It’s going to come down to keeping the ball in play and trying to do the same thing I did here. I’ve got to execute and make a few birdies.”
The field of 141 players will alternate courses for Round 2 on Tuesday, before being cut to the top-60 plus ties for Wednesday’s final round at Manchester CC. Thirteen players from this week’s Championship will advance to the 2020 PGA Professional Championship, where 20 spots in the 2020 PGA Championship, one of golf’s four Major Championships, will be up for grabs.
The New England PGA would like to thank the host facilities, Manchester CC and Concord CC, and host PGA Professionals Brian Moskevich, Jeff May, Brian Kelley, and Rich Thibeault.
“It’s an honor,” Moskevich said of hosting the Section Championship. “It is the biggest tournament that New England professionals play in and it’s a gateway to a tour event, so it is special.”
The NEPGA Section Championship would not be possible without the support of partners Cadillac, Club Car, Omega, Titleist, Footjoy, PGA Tour, Nike, Golf Channel, Avidia Bank, and Pukka.