QUINCY, Mass. – Liam Friedman, of Nashawtuc Country Club and Dan Venezio, of Portland Country Club backed up stellar Stroke Play Series showings from a week ago with matching 64s on Tuesday September 3 at Presidents Golf Course to tie for the New England PGA Stroke Play Series #5 title.
Friedman set the bar at 6-under par early in the day, making seven birdies one one bogey. He did most of his damage in a nine-hole stretch starting at the fourth, making six birdies in that span to get to five-under for the day. He added a birdie on the par-5 15th to get to 6-under before making par on the final three holes.
“It favors the longer hitters if you’re accurate off the tee,” Friedman said of the course, which played at about 5,800 yards, on a beautiful September day. “I could reach a whole bunch of the par-4s, I could reach all the par-5s in two. The greens are a great equalizer. They’re very undulating and it’s tough to even get the speed right and get the breaks right, so you had to be well-positioned.”
Friedman, the defending Avidia Cup Finals Champion who also won on Aug. 27 at the Cape Club of Sharon in the fourth NEPGA Stroke Play Series event, will look to defend his title at his home course, as the Avidia Cup Finals head to Nashawtuc CC on Sept. 30. With Tuesday’s win, Friedman narrowly surpassed Rich Berberian, of Vesper Country Club atop the Avidia Cup Standings.
“It would mean a lot to me to defend this year, especially because Nashawtuc is hosting the Avidia Cup Finals, more so than if it were elsewhere,” Friedman said. “Last year winning the Avidia Cup Finals was really awesome, but I almost didn’t have the understanding of how big of an event it was. This year we’ve been talking about the Avidia Cup Finals at Nashawtuc since the beginning of the season.”
Venezio took it deep by carding eagles on the Par-5 fifth and 15 holes. He added four birdies, offset by two bogeys, and shot 32 on both sides to post 64. By day’s end, Venezio played the course’s four Par-5s a total of 5-under par.
“It’s all about where you put the ball on the green,” Venezio said after his round. “Being from Maine, it reminded me of Cape Arundel, another 6,000-yard course. You don’t need to hit to hit it as far as you can. On certain holes it can help you, on other ones it can really put you in a bad spot. Some of the greens have a lot of contour and a lot of slope where if you’re above the hole it’s really scary and if you’re below the hole it’s a green light. It’s all about how you attack the green and from what angle.”
It’s the second top-3 finish in as many weeks for Venezio, who finished T2 a week ago in the Stroke Play Series event at the Cape Club of Sharon.
“I made a quick little tweak with my grip about two weeks ago and I’ve been hitting the ball solid ever since,” he added. “I’m glad to see some good results come out of it.”
Robert Bruso, of Blackstone National GC played the back-nine in 5-under par 31 after an even-par front to finish one stroke behind Friedman and Venezio. Troy Pare, of Ledgement CC were the only players finished under par, and another six finished even-par for the tournament.
The tournament was the last of five Stroke Play events that make up the NEPGA Stroke Play Series. The top 54 players, based on points, from the five stroke play events plus the Chapter Championships, qualify for the Avidia Cup Finals, Sept. 30 at Nashawtuc CC.
2019 New England PGA Stroke Play Series #5
Presidents Golf Course (Quincy, Mass.) 34-36–70
T1 Liam Friedman, Nashawtuc: 31-33–64 -6 $1,220.00
T1 Dan Venezio, Portland CC : 32-32–64 -6 $1,220.00
3 Robert Bruso, Blackstone National GC: 34-31–65 -5 $835.00
T4 Troy Pare, Ledgemont: 34-32–66 -4 $469.00
T4 Matt Zdon, Belmont: 32-34–66 -4 $469.00
T4 Rick Karbowski, Auburn Driving Range: 33-33–66 -4 $469.00
T4 Todd Scarafoni, Bass Rocks GC: 32-34–66 -4 $469.00
T4 Steven Hausmann, Hausmann Golf: 30-36–66 -4 $469.00
T9 Jeff Martin, Wollaston GC: 35-32–67 -3 $337.50
T9 Greg Farland, Marlborough CC: 32-35–67 -3 $337.50
T11 Shawn Warren, Falmouth CC: 32-36–68 -2 $245.00
T11 Dan Gillis, Nabnasset Lake CC: 34-34–68 -2 $245.00
T11 Brian Moskevich, Manchester CC: 34-34–68 -2 $245.00
T11 Brendon Ray, Point Judith CC: 32-36–68 -2 $245.00
T11 Aaron Harper, Ipswich CC: 34-34–68 -2 $245.00
T11 Kirk Hanefeld, Salem CC: 33-35–68 -2 $245.00
T11 Frank Dully, Kernwood CC: 32-36–68 -2 $245.00
T11 Robert Tramonti, Triggs Memorial GC: 36-32–68 -2 $245.00
T19 David Dionne, Beverly Golf & Tennis: 31-38–69 -1 $187.50
T19 Danny Kish, The Atkinson Resort: 32-37–69 -1 $187.50
T21 Shane Drury, Swansea CC: 34-36–70 E $82.50
T21 Patrick Beahn, Blackstone National GC: 34-36–70 E $82.50
T21 Greg Yeomans, Bay Club at Mattapoisett: 32-38–70 E $82.50
T21 Brian Owens, North Kingstown GC: 35-35–70 E $82.50
T21 Nicholas Jagoe, Allendale: 33-37–70 E $82.50
T21 Ben Raff, Essex County Club: 34-36–70 E $82.50
T27 James Antonelli, Marshfield CC: 38-33–71 +1
T27 Brett Smestad, Rochester: 36-35–71 +1
T27 Nick Hallowell, The Country Club: 34-37–71 +1
T27 Gregg Richbourg, Cape Cod National GC: 34-37–71 +1
T27 Zac Temple, Hanover CC: 34-37–71 +1
T27 Ronald Coiro, Salem CC: 37-34–71 +1
T33 Mark Cunningham, New England Golf Cars: 34-38–72 +2
T33 Ben Egan, Bay Club at Mattapoisett: 35-37–72 +2
T33 Matt Baran, Ridge Club, The: 33-39–72 +2
T33 Rich Berberian, Vesper CC: 33-39–72 +2
T33 Brenden Mitchell, The Country Club: 36-36–72 +2
T33 David Sibley, Larry Gannon: 35-37–72 +2
CREDIT: New England PGA Staff