WOODSTOCK, Vt. – The final round of the New England PGA Senior Championship was cancelled due to weather. The tournament has been reduced to an 18-hole event, with Paul Parajeckas, PGA (Pleasant Valley CC) winning for the fourth time in his career (2004, ’05, ’06) after a 4-under par 66 in Round 1.
“When I got the text at my hotel room, I was all alone in my hotel room, I actually broke down,” Parajeckas said of receiving the news that the second round was cancelled and his 18-hole lead would stand as the winning score. “The first person I called was my son Jason. Jason is not only my son, but he’s my best friend. That was the moment where I felt like ‘Wow, I did it again.’ It felt really good today, all the people who were texting me and all the people commenting on Facebook, and I’m old-fashioned, I don’t get on that stuff, but it really meant a lot to me.”
Parajeckas, 69, wins nearly 10 years to the day after his 2009 NEPGA Section Championship win. Parajeckas has collected numerous other wins within the Section since the 1980s, and was the 1989 and 1997 Wogan Player of the Year.
“I haven’t really played that much in the last three years. To win it again, oh my God, it lit the candle again,” he said. “I feel very competitive, I’ve always been very competitive. I was hoping to play today. I was prepared to go out there and do exactly what I thought I could do. If anybody beat me, that was fine. But a win is a win and I think the lord was on my side today.”
Six New England PGA Professionals punched their tickets to the 2019 Senior PGA Professional Championship, Oct. 3-6 in Austin, Texas joining Kirk Hanefeld who holds a lifetime exemption as a past champion. Parajeckas, John Paesani (Bay Club at Mattapoisett), Jeff Seavey (Samoset Resort) and Webb Heintzelman (Turner Hill) qualified outright, while Thomas Tobey (Sandwich Hollows), Rick Karbowski (Auburn Driving Range) and Bill Andrews (Portsmouth CC) went into a playoff for the final two spots, with Karbowski and Tobey advancing. Andrews will be the first alternate.
The New England PGA thanks Woodstock CC and their staff, led by PGA Professional Matt Closter, for hosting the Championship, and partners Cadillac, John Deere, Golf Channel, R.J. Shepherd, and the PGA Tour for their support.