HAMILTON, Mass. – After reducing the 100th New England PGA Section Championship to a one-horse race after 36 holes, Shawn Warren, of Falmouth Country Club (Maine), crusied to victory at Myopia Hunt Club on Wednesday August 19, winning the tournament for the second-consecutive year and third time overall.
“To go out and shoot 4-under yesterday to give myself that big cushion going into today allowed me to relax and not have to grind it out all day,” said a happy Warren after signing for a final round 76.
The 76 was Warren’s only over-par round of the tournament and left him at 1-under par for the 54-hole event, five strokes clear of Scott Johnson, of Oakley CC, who finished second after shooting 75 alongside Warren in the final group. Tedesco Country Club co-hosted the tournament with the 185-player field alternating between the two courses over Monday and Tuesday’s rounds. Sixty-six players made the 36-hole cut into the final round at Myopia on Wednesday.
Warren entered the final round with a six-stroke lead at 5-under par and was in Position 1 the entire day. He carded three-straight birdies on Myopia’s fourth, fifth and sixth holes to get to 8-under par. Despite four bogeys and a triple over the final 12 holes, Warren still managed to finish the tournament as the only player under par.
“I was 3-under early on in the round and that allowed me to play a little more conservative and really stick to the game plan,” Warren said. “This place, as everybody can tell with the scores, you’re one swing away from getting into a lot of trouble. I did a good job earlier of steadying the ship and keeping the ball in play and then in the end I just hung on. It was nice not to have to grind it out too much but it’s still a tough battle.”
Warren, who also won the New England PGA Championship in 2013 and 2019, becomes the seventh three-time Section Champion as the event celebrated its centennial championship.
“What a special place. To win the 100th is huge, to win back-to-back, I’m so fortunate, but to do it on this piece of property, this club, Myopia Hunt Club, it’s a dream come true,” Warren added.
Johnson made four birdies and shot 3-over par 75 to finish alone in second. The low round of the day belonged to Jeff Seavey, of Goose River, a 1-under par 71 that catapulted him from a tie for 14th entering the day into a solo 3rd finish. Three-time NEPGA Champion Rich Berberian, of Vesper CC, shot 73 and tied for fourth with Robert Bruso, Blackstone National GC, at 6-over par.
The top 10 finishers earned an exemption into the 2021 PGA Professional National Championship. Liam Friedman, of Nashawtuc CC, David Bennett, of CC of Vermont, Jeff Martin, of Wollaston GC, John Hickson, of Chequessett Y&CC, Greg Yeomans, of Bay Club at Mattapoisett and Matt Baran joined Warren, Johnson, Seavey and Bruso earning those exemptions. Berberian and Seul-Ki Hawley, of Winchester CC, are already exempt into the field.
With the cancellation of the 2020 PGA Professional Championship, the New England PGA reserved one exemption for the lowest finisher in the Section Championship who qualified for the 2020 event and did not earn an exemption this week. That spot went to Kirk Hanefeld who finished tied for 10th.
The Section’s five PNC alternates, in order, are Danny Kish (Atkinson Resort), Todd Rollins (Laconia), Steven Hausmann (Amherst CC), Boomer Erick(Boston GC), and David Jankowski (Burlington CC).
(New England PGA provided content for this report.)