NEWTON, MA – Heading into the 36-hole match play final at historic Charles River Country Club to determine the 2017 Massachusetts Amateur Champion, one thing is certain – his first name is Matt.
It’s Matt Parziale vs. Matt Cowgill.
The stage is set for 8 a.m., an epic match-play showdown between the two best amateur players remaining from a field that started at 132, and hundreds more who failed to qualify from ten regional locations throughout the state over the past six weeks.
Make no mistake, the Mass Amateur is the premier amateur event of the year, and the Bay State has an impressive 109-year history to prove it. No one has ever become champion by luck or fluky breaks. It is an intense five-day physical and mental test sometimes taking all the 144 scheduled holes to win. After 36 holes of qualifying, you must win four matches to advance to the 36-hole final. The pressure is enormous and the best player always wins.
Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC) and Matt Cowgill (Wayland CC) completed a combined 86 holes of golf on Day 4.
They won a combined six matches to secure their spot in the 36-hole final match. Additionally, both players won their semi-final match in overtime – a pressure-packed 19th hole: Parziale edged Jackson Lang (Nashawtuc CC), while Cowgill ousted top-seed Billy Walthouse (Longmeadow CC).
Tale of the Golf Tape
In one corner, we have 30-year-old Matt Parziale (5′ 11″, 185 lbs), a proven winner on the amateur circuit, after a brief stint as a professional which included three trips to PGA Tour “Q” School (2011-2013).
Parziale maintains a + 4 handicap at Thorny Lea in Brockton, where he’s employed as a Brockton fireman. He is the reigning champion of both the Massachusetts Mid-Amateur (2015 and 2016) and Fourball (2016 and 2017). Parziale also won the 2009 New England Amateur, and is a three-time MGA player of the year.
In the other corner we have 20-year-old Matt Cowgill (5′ 10″, 170 lbs), a senior-to-be at James Madison University (VA), who has been tearing it up on the college circuit. The Weston High grad (Class of 2013) is the reigning (2016) Mass Amateur Public Links champion and maintains a + 2 handicap at Wayland CC.
Matt Parziale: “I am exhausted. They said that I played 47 and a half holes. It was a long day, and I had nothing left in the end. I was pretty tired out there today, but I have done this before in this tournament so you kind of expect it. I wish that I could have played better coming in, but it was enough on the 19th hole.”
Matt Cowgill: “I am super excited and just trying to relax. I don’t know what game I am going to bring tomorrow (Friday), but I am excited. I have never had that much success in match play, but I like where my game is right now.”
Gentlemen, “Play Away.” May the best Matt win!