BEDFORD, N.H. – More than 100 eager New England PGA Professionals got a sneak peak at the 2019 NEPGA Section Championship on Monday, teeing it up at Manchester Country Club in the year’s third Stroke Play Series event. Rich Berberian Jr., PGA (Vesper CC) claimed his second-consecutive Stroke Play Series title, shooting 4-under 67 to edge four players by a one stroke.
Berberian birdied his first two holes and went back-to-back again on the ninth and 10th to get to 4-under par. He then offset bogeys on the 11th and 16th with birdies on the 15th and 18th to card 67.
“I’m excited to play our Section Championship here,” Berberian said after his round. “I hit a lot of drivers and kept it in play, and honestly I putted pretty well today. I hit good tee shots which left me with a lot of wedges and I hit the wedges to the right side of the hole and gave myself a few good chances. The greens rolled so good and a couple of them went in for me.”
Berberian will return to Manchester CC as he looks to defend his 2018 Section Championship in just four weeks. The 2019 NEPGA Section Championship is Aug. 5-7 at Manchester CC and Concord CC, with the first two rounds alternating between the two courses and the final round contested at MCC. Berberian already has three NEPGA Championships to his credit, winning in 2014, 2015 and 2018.
“I know golf is a day-to-day thing,” he said. “Just because the round today went well, I know things can change overnight, let alone a month from now. It’s good to see the course, it’s good to be able to come out and play it in tournament conditions. Whether the putts go in that week or don’t, at least I’ve prepared a little bit and I have some good memories now.”
Troy Pare, PGA (Ledgemont CC) was part of that four-way tie for second at 3-under 68. With his son on the bag, Pare was 4-under after birdies on the 6th, 9th, 11th and 13th with out a bogey, before sandwiching a birdie on 15 with bogeys on 14 and 16 to card 68.
“This is definitely a practice round for the Section Championship,” Pare said. “I hit a lot of greens, I think I only missed two greens today. Anytime you go into a tournament like this you want to play the golf course reasonably well. I feel pretty good out here.”
David Grygiel, PGA (Tee N’ Tee Golfland), Jason Sedan, PGA (Lake Winnipeasukee GC) and Robert Bruso, PGA (Blackstone National GC) joined Pare at 3-under to tie for second. Zachary Staub, PGA (The Ridge Club) and Danny Kish, PGA (The Atkinson Resort) tied for sixth at 2-under 69.
The New England PGA would like to thank the Manchester CC staff including Director of Golf Jefferson May, PGA, and Head Golf Professional Brian Moskevich, PGA. Monday’s tournament would not have been possible without the generous support from NEPGA partners Avidia Bank, SCNS Sports Foods, Bushnell Golf, Ahead, Cutter & Buck, Omega and PGA Tour.