BOYLSTON, Mass. — Seven birdies in an eight hole stretch during the final round propelled Steven Daly, PGA (Cape Club of Sharon) and Nick Desjardins, PGA (Tedesco CC) to the top of New England PGA Pro-Pro Stroke Play leaderboard, where they finished 14-under par, one stroke clear of the next closest team.
The pair rattled off five consecutive birdies in the second round starting on The Haven Country Club’s 13th hole, their fourth of the round. After settling for par on the 18th, they started their final nine with back-to-back birdies to get to 13-under par for the tournament. Their lone bogey of the second round came on the 7th hole, but they bounced back with birdies on their 35th and 36th holes of the day to earn the win.
“There’s no option to play away from pins with the guys who are playing, so you just have to keep going,” Daly said of the strength of the field after the round.
“We knew if we just kept making birds we would be in it. With the guys who are in the field you have to go really low,” Desjardins added.
WIth the recent cancellation of the PGA Professional National Championship, which would have conflicted with today’s event, nine players who qualified for the national championship tee’d it up in the Pro-Pro Stroke Play Championship on Monday. Two of them, Liam Friedman, PGA (Nashawtuc CC) and Rich Berberian, Jr., PGA (Vesper CC) teamed up and finished in a tie for second at 13-under. The pair shot 10-under par 62 in the second round after shooting 69 in the morning.
“Playing with somebody with Rich’s pedigree is enjoyable because you know he’s the best player in the Section, he’s one of the best players in the country,” Friedman said of Berberian, a two-time PGA Professional Player of the Year. “We got the putters working on the second 18. That’s how these best ball tournaments work. It’s who can get the putters going because there’s so many good players, everybody can hit the shots, and it’s just who can make the putts.”
Kirk Hanefeld, PGA (Salem CC) and Rick Karbowski, PGA (Auburn Driving Range) joined Friedman and Berberian in the tie for second at 13-under par with rounds of 67-64. Defending co-champions Eric Barlow, PGA (Winchester CC) and Tom Tobey, PGA (Sandwich Hollows) finished tied for fourth at 12-under par. Nick Jagoe, PGA (Allendale CC) and Shawn Warren, PGA (Falmouth CC), as well as Troy Pare, PGA (Ledgemont CC) and Jeff Martin, PGA (Wollaston CC) also finished at 12-under par.
Thank you to NEPGA partners Turtleson, Pinned Golf and Harbor Hemp Company for supporting the event. Turtleson representative Jeff DiBona was on the first tee to greet each player with a polo. Pinned Golf contributed $5,000 to the purse, and the company’s three co-founders ran a closet-to-the-pin contest on the par-3 13th hole.
Thank you to The Haven Country Club and head PGA Professional Hal Jacobs for serving as the Championship’s perennial host.