BOYLSTON, Mass. – The 2019 New England PGA Pro-Pro Stroke Play Championship shared many of the nuances of its predecessors at The Haven Country Club on Monday, where the event has been contested each year since the 1960s. In the end, co-champions were crowned, as Thomas Tobey, PGA (Sandwich Hollows) and Eric Barlow, PGA (Winchester CC) shared the title with Bob Bruso, PGA (Blackstone National GC) and Jeff Seavey, PGA (Samoset Resort), as both teams posted 36-hole scores of 14-under par.
It was the third time since 2013 that the title was shared, and also the third time since 2013 that weather was a factor, as the event was wiped out entirely in 2017, and shortened to 18 holes in 2013. While both rounds were completed on Monday, the final dozen groups finished play in heavy rain. For Seavey, it was the third title in seven years, winning with Shawn Warren, PGA (Falmouth CC) in 2013 and 2015.
Bruso and Seavey obliterated the par-5s, making birdie on all eight over the two rounds in the four-ball stroke play format. The pair managed 14 birdies on the day – seven in each round – with no bogeys to post back-to-back 65s.
Barlow and Tobey made 15 birdies and just one bogey on Monday, matching Bruso and Seavey with 65s in each round, including a bogey-free second-round.
After going low in the first round, Barlow said the strategy stayed the same in Round 2.
“We basically just went out there and played and tried to make as many birdies as we could and let the outcome take care of itself,” Barlow said.
The 14-under total allowed the duo to finally capture the Pro-Pro Stroke Play Championship after coming up just short in the past.
“I’d say it’s about time,” Tobey said of the prospect of winning after finishing the second round with the clubhouse lead.
“Exactly,” Barlow added. “We’ve played together many years and we’ve been close and just needed a few more putts to fall, and hopefully is the day.”
Two teams tied for third place at 10-under par. Greg Farland, PGA (Marlborough CC) and Scott Hickey, PGA (Cyprian Keyes) shot 70-64 to get double-digits under par, matching Brendon Ray, PGA (Point Judith CC) and Jacob Leech, PGA (Tedesco CC), who followed a 64 in Round 1 with a 2-under par 70 in the afternoon.
Defending champions Troy Pare, PGA (Ledgemont CC) and Jeff Martin (Wollaston GC) came up short of their fourth Pro-Pro Stroke Play title since 2012, finishing tied for fifth at 9-under par, along with Dan Venezio, PGA (Portland CC) and Patrick Berry, PGA (Dorset Field).
Monday’s tournament was the last New England PGA tournament before the Section Championship, which heads to New Hampshire Aug. 5-7 at Manchester CC and Concord CC.
The New England PGA would like to thank partners Turtleson and Evolve Golf for spending the day with us on Monday. The NEPGA also thanks The Haven Country Club and PGA Professionals Hal Jacobs and Bryan Fitzpatrick for all their work and preparation hosting another great tournament.