BOYLSTON, Mass. – Three New England PGA Point Races are heating up as the 2019 golf season winds down. With just one qualifying event remaining on the 2019 NEPGA schedule, the OMEGA Wogan Player of the Year, Avidia Bank Cup, and 1st & 10th Tee Challenge races will each be determined at the Avidia Cup Finals at Nashawtuc CC on Sept. 30.
The battle for the OMEGA Wogan Player of the Year is a two-man race between leader Rich Berberian, Jr., PGA (Vesper CC) and Shawn Warren, PGA (Falmouth CC). Warren finds himself 1,035 points behind Berberian in the race, but controls his own destiny as Berberian will miss the Avidia Cup Finals, instead representing Team USA at the 2019 PGA Cup.
Warren will need a top-10 finish to surpass Berberian for the prestigious award. Berberian and Warren have dominated the Section’s top competitive award for most of the decade, with Warren claiming the Wogan award in 2013, ’14, ’15, and ’18 and Berberian winning it in 2016 and ’17.
Berberian collected 12,914 Wogan points in 2019, boosted by a T6 finish in the 300-plus player PGA Professional National Championship field, a performance that sent him to the 2019 PGA Championship. Berberian finished T16 in both the NEPGA Championship and the Mass Open, and won two of the four NEPGA Stroke Play Series events in which he teed it up, giving him not only a pair of first-place points payouts, but a multi-win bonus.
Warren secured nearly half of his 11,879 Wogan points with a dramatic NEPGA Section Championship win. A T9 performance in the Mass Open and T2 finish in the Maine Open also helped propel Warren up the Wogan leaderboard.
The top 10 players in the final Wogan Standings win a portion of the $9,000 purse, with the winner taking home $1,800.00.
Liam Friedman, PGA (Nashawtuc CC) recently leapfrogged Berberian atop the Avidia Bank Cup standings with Stroke Play Series wins in back-to-back weeks, Aug. 27 at the Cape Club of Sharon and Sept. 3 at Presidents Golf Course. Friedman, the defending Avidia Cup Champion, added a third-place finish in the second Stroke Play Series event of 2019, and will defend his title at his home course when the Avidia Cup Finals head to Nashawtuc CC on Sept. 30.
The Avidia Bank Cup winner will take home $1,500 in 2019 and the top 10 players in the final standings will earn a piece of the $8,000 purse.
With an eagle on the first hole at Concord CC during the Section Championship, Greg Farland, PGA (Marlborough CC) got to 5-under par in the 1st Tee Challenge, which takes the five best opening-hole scores from each of the five Stroke Play Series events, both Section Championship sites, and the Avidia Cup Finals. The Par-5 first hole at Nashawtuc CC will give those in pursuit, including Brenden Mitchell, PGA (-4), Danny Kish, PGA (-3) and Friedman (-3) an opportunity to make up ground.
Berberian leads the 10th Tee Challenge, which rewards players for their 10th-hole performance in the same events, at 4-under par. David Bennett, PGA (-3) and Rob Bradley, PGA (-2) are in pursuit, but will need to score on Nashawtuc’s 10th hole, a 399-yard dogleg left which asks righties to hit a draw off the tee, to catch Berberian.
Those finishing in the top five of the 1st and 10th Tee standings will cash out in the Challenge, with the winner of each challenge bringing home a $485 bonus.