BOYLSTON, Mass. – It’s not easy being an assistant PGA Professional in 2020. From early spring course shutdowns to constant golf cart sanitization and sunup-to-sundown play throughout the summer, it has been the most stressful season many golf professionals can remember.
For the Assistant PGA Professionals and Associates in New England who have worked tirelessly to control the chaos all year long, it’s finally time to escape, if just for a couple days, to tee it up in their own Championship. The 2020 National Car Rental Assistant New England PGA Professional Championship returns to Renaissance Golf Club Sept. 21-22, where one Assistant will claim the Championship. The 36-hole tournament will also decide which six Assistants will punch their ticket to the 44th PGA Assistant Professional Championship, held Nov. 12-15 at PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
The Championship was last contested at Renaissance in 2018, when Robert Bruso, PGA (Blackstone National) won the rain-shortened event after posting the only under-par round of the tournament, a 2-under 70 that was good for a two-stroke win. Renaissance, Brian Silva’s first design which opened in 2005, tips out at 7,031 yards, playing to a par of 72. The course features dozens of strategically placed bunkers, significant elevation changes, and risk/reward holes that will present the 78-player field with decisions on every hole.
Including Bruso, five past champions will compete next week. Defending champion Greg Kelly, PGA (Myopia Hunt Club) shot 3-under par through 36 holes at Pocasset GC to win last September and will look to defend his title. Shawn Warren, PGA (Falmouth CC) is the only three-time champion in the field, having won in 2011, ’16 & ’17. Warren will bring some momentum after a memorable August in which he competed in his second PGA Championship and cruised to his second-consecutive and third overall NEPGA Section Championship victory. Brian Owens, PGA (North Kingstown GC) is the only other multiple-time champion (2004, ’12) competing this year, and 2013 winner Jeff Seavey, PGA (Goose River GC) rounds out the past champions in the field.
Warren (1st), Bruso (3rd) and Seavey (4th) represent three of the top four players in the 2020 Omega NEPGA Wogan Player of the Year standings heading into the tournament, while Liam Friedman, PGA (Nashawtuc CC), who currently sits in second on that list, will also be in the field. Friedman’s best finish came at Renaissance in 2018 when he finished T3, three strokes behind Bruso.
The tournament tees off at 8:00 AM on Monday, Sept. 21 and the field will be re-paired by score before the final round on Tuesday, Sept. 22. Be sure to check NEPGA.com for daily updates and follow the New England PGA on Instagram (NewEnglandPGA), Twitter (@NEPGA) and Facebook (NEPGA) for live updates and behind-the-scenes content.
National Car Rental is the title sponsor for the Championship, along with supporting partners Golf Advisor, John Deere, and Cleveland / Srixon / XXIO.