POCASSET, Mass. – The wind picked up and the hole-outs were going down in the final round of the National Car Rental New England PGA Assistants Championship at Pocasset Golf Club on Tuesday. When it was all said and done, Greg Kelly, PGA (Myopia Hunt Club) shot 2-under par 70 in the final round to post 3-under for the tournament and pick up a two-shot win.
Kelly overcame a windy afternoon to make five birdies on Tuesday. He got off to a fast start with birdies on his first two holes, and turned in 3-under 33 with another birdie on the ninth.
“I started off on the short Par-5 and I was on the green in two and hit a solid eagle putt that just missed the hole, so I had a tap-in birdie,” he said. “I hit a solid drive on two, and a close approach to about five feet and knocked that in and kept trucking all the way through that front nine there. Luckily I birdied the ninth hole so it was a good start on the front so that got me going.”
Kelly gave two strokes back with a double-bogey on the 12th hole, but played the last six holes one-under par to shoot 70 and get to -3 for the 36-hole tournament.
“The wind picked up on the back nine a lot,” he said. “I laid off a few clubs and I hit my driver really well so I trusted that in my hands which was great. I had a nice low ball-flight with that. It was tough putting on the back there but I was lucky enough to hit some solid putts and get through.”
Kelly outlasted four players who finished tied for second at 1-under par for the tournament. That group included Jeff Seavey, PGA (Samoset Resort), Peter Weatherby, PGA (Ekwanok CC), John Paesani, PGA (Bay Club at Mattapoisett) and Zac Temple, PGA (Hanover CC).
Weatherby was the only player from that quartet to shoot even-par on the back nine on Tuesday, as the afternoon wind picked up at Pocasset GC. Ryan Moseley, PGA (Manchester CC) won a 3-for-1 playoff to join Kelly, Seavey, Weatherby, Paesani and Temple as the New England Section’s six qualifiers for the National Assistants Championship. Shawn Warren, PGA (Falmouth CC) and Wyatt Frazier, PGA (Woods Hole GC), who tied Moseley at 1-over par for the tournament, will be the first and second alternates, respectively.
Despite the tough conditions on Tuesday, there were plenty of fireworks at Pocasset, including three hole-outs, one that dropped for a double-eagle. Chris Gehling, PGA (Vesper CC) started his day with a deuce on the Par-5 opening hole for his first-ever albatross. He holed out with a 5-iron from 187 yards.
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“I couldn’t believe it honestly, I didn’t know what to say. It was exciting,” Gehling said of the memorable moment. “It was my first albatross and certainly a heck of a start to the round.”
Gehling’s was one of three long-distance hole outs on the day. Liam Friedman holed his second shot for an eagle on the 362-yard 10th hole, and Temple dunked his second shot for an eagle on the 388-yard seventh.
Thank you to the NEPGA partners who make the Assistants Championship possible, including National Car Rental, Cleveland/Srixon/XXIO, John Deere, Golf Advisor, Vineyard Vines, and the PGA TOUR. A special thank you also goes to Pocasset GC head PGA Professional Jeff Halunen for welcoming nearly 90 assistants and associates from the New England Section to Pocasset Golf Club.