LINCOLN, R.I. – The 2021 NEPGA Pro-Pro Match Play Championship kicked off Monday at Kirkbrae Country Club. The morning wave saw eight teams finish at -3 or better to qualify for the afternoon’s quarterfinal matches.
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A total of 27 two-man teams teed off the 1st and 10th holes this morning with eight match play spots on the line. The best ball stroke play qualifying round was headlined by Bob Bruso, PGA and Patrick Beahn, PGA, both from Blackstone National GC, who fired a six-under 65 to take the top seed. Chip Johnson, PGA (Hatherly CC) and James Antonelli, PGA (Marshfield CC) finished the stroke play qualifying as the two-seed with a five-under par 66.
David Baluik, PGA (Glocester CC) and Ed Kirby, PGA (The Aquidneck Club) posted a score of -4 to qualify for the afternoon matches. Greg Farland, PGA (Marlborough CC) and Frank Leja, PGA (New Seabury on Cape Cod) also fired a four-under 67.
The final four match play spots went to the four teams that finished the morning at three-under: Bill Andrews, PGA (Portsmouth CC) and Dan Wilkins, PGA (Laconia CC); Christopher Hulme, PGA (Newport National GC) and Scott Hickey, PGA (Cyprian Keyes GC); Greg Yeomans, PGA (The Bay Club at Mattapoisett) and John Paesani, PGA (The Bay Club at Mattapoisett); Eric Barlow, PGA (Winchester CC) and Todd Scarafoni, PGA (Bass Rocks GC).
The afternoon shootout, an alternate shot winner-take-all event for the non-qualifying teams, saw Tom Rooney, PGA (LeBaron Hills GC) and Rob Bradley, PGA (Brockton CC) take the crystal after posting a score of -3 over six holes. The duo outlasted Jeff Martin, PGA (Wollaston GC) and Bryan Kienke, PGA (Cohasset GC) for the victory.
Bruso and Beahn moved to tomorrow morning’s semifinal match with a 5&4 victory over Hickey and Hulme. They will take on Barlow and Scarafoni, who collected a 2&1 win over Farland and Leja in the quarterfinal round.
Baluik and Kirby held off Yeomans and Paesani for a 2 and 1 victory in the quarterfinals, powered by a Kirby eagle on the par-4 16th. They will take on Andrews and Wilkins, who claimed a 2 and 1 victory of their own over Antonelli and Johnson.
The semifinal matches begin tomorrow morning at 8 a.m.
Thank you to Kirkbrae Country Club General Manager Mike Bradshaw, PGA, and Superintendent Pete Wood along with the entire KCC staff for hosting the NEPGA Pro-Pro Match Play Championship. The NEPGA would also like to thank its Pro-Pro Match Play Championship supporting partners: Jack Jolly & Son, Maui Jim, Nexbelt, the PGA Tour, Prize Possessions, and Summit Golf Brands.
(1) Bruso / Beahn def. (8) Hickey / Hulme – 5 & 4
(5) Barlow / Scarafoni def. (4) Farland / Leja – 2 & 1
(7) Andrews / Wilkins def. (2) Antonelli / Johnson – 2 & 1
(3) Baluik / Kirby def. (6) Yeomans / Paesani – 2 & 1
(1) Bruso / Beahn vs. (5) Barlow / Scarafoni – 8 a.m.
(3) Baluik / Kirby vs. (7) Andrews / Wilkins – 8:10 a.m.