Lakeville, Mass. – Shawn Warren, PGA (Falmouth CC) and Matt Arvanitis, PGA (SNHU) claimed the 2023 NEPGA, Johnnie-O Pro-Pro Match Play Championship title over Scott Hickey, PGA (Cyprian Keyes GC) and Chris Hulme, PGA (Newport National CC) on Tuesday, May 9th at LeBaron Hills CC. The match was tightly contested with Warren and Arvanitis clinching the 1Up victory.
In the first semifinal match, Hulme and Hickey took on Pete Weatherby, (Manchester CC) and Curt Goldsberry, PGA (The Quechee Club). The round was closely contested with Hulme and Hickey finishing 1 up to claim a spot in the 2023 NEPGA, Johnnie-O Pro-Pro Match Play Championship Finals.
Warren and Arvanitis, the tournament’s top seed, kicked off the semifinal round against Jim Clay, PGA (The Club at New Seabury) and Jim Damiano, PGA (The Club at New Seabury). Clay and Damiano took an early 2up lead after two holes, but Warren and Arvanitis squared things up on the fifth hole and never looked back. They claimed a final 3&2 victory to move onto the final round with Hulme and Hickey.
In the Championship Match, the teams of Warren and Arvanitis and Hulme and Hickey were all square through the first three holes before a birdie by Hickey on the par 3 fourth hole gave his team team 1Up lead. Warren and Arvanitis squared things up again with a birdie on seven. The contest stayed tied through the turn.
Warren eagled the par 5 10th hole to give him and Arvanitis their first lead of the round (1Up). A birdie for Hickey and Hulme on 11 squared things up again but Warren and Arvanitis won the 12th and 13th to take the largest lead of the match, 2Up.
Hickey closed the gap to 1Up with a birdie on the par-5 15th hole. Both teams parred the 17th hole to head up the 18th with Warren and Arvanitis 1Up. Warren and Arvanitis held off Hickey and Hulme on the 18th to take home the final 1Up victory and the 2023 NEPGA, Johnnie-O Pro-Pro Match Play Championship title.
Warren and Arvanitis were presented with custom Johnnie-O surfboard trophies. “It was a great match on the front nine. We were able to keep it close early,” said Warren. “Scott and Hulme were playing great,” he continued. “12 was kind of the turning point… We were able to make par on 13 to get 2Up, but those guys battled hard… Scott made birdie on the par 5 15 to bring us to 1Up. The last three holes was just kind of holding on and hoping we would have to force them to make a couple birdies to beat us.”
Thank you to LeBaron Hills Country Club staff for hosting the NEPGA, Johnnie-O Pro-Pro Match Play Championship. The NEPGA would also like to thank its Pro-Pro Match Play Championship Presenting Partner, Johnnie-O and Supporting Partners: R.J. Shepherd, Prize Possessions, Golf Scorecards, Inc., Lagshot, and PGA Tour.