Matt Parziale continues a winning season at the Francis Ouimet Memorial
(David Colt/MGA photo)
NEWTON, MA (July 28, 2017) - On the 50th anniversary of one of the most storied tournaments in Massachusetts, it was only right that the champion delivered a history-making performance.
On Thursday at Woodland Golf Club – the longtime home club of Francis Ouimet - Matt Parziale
(Thorny Lea GC) captured his third Francis Ouimet Memorial Tournament after posting a three-round score of 7-under par 208.
Related: Matt Parziale storms into Ouimet Memorial Lead
“When I started playing in this I was just thrilled to be able to play and never expected to win. I was always trying to just make the cut,” said Parziale, who captured this title in 2009 and then again in 2013
. “It’s always fun to win, but three times, I never imagined it.”
He becomes only the second player in the event’s 50-year history to win more than two titles. The only other competitor to accomplish that feat since 1968 has been Frank Vana, Jr.
(Marlborough CC), who won this title five times (1998, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2010).
“The last time I won was on the 100th anniversary of Ouimet winning, so I guess that I have won on all of the milestones,” said Parziale referencing his 2013 victory which came 100 years after Ouimet’s stirring 1913 U.S. Open Championship win at The Country Club.
Parziale’s performance over the three-day period is no doubt one that would have made Ouimet himself proud.
Not only did Parziale manage his way masterfully around two challenging layouts – Brae Burn Country Club and The Country Club – on Wednesday and Thursday, but he also dutifully reported to work as scheduled on Thursday evening and then returned to Woodland Golf Club on Friday to finish the job he started two days prior.
Parziale, a member of the Brockton Fire Department, completed his overnight shift just before 8:00 a.m. on Friday and just in time for his 11:10 a.m. starting time.
“I wouldn’t say that I am used to it, but you can’t really think about it because you are competing and in the moment,” said Parziale. “It’s part of my life, so if I complain about that I have bigger issues.”
Despite only getting two hours of sleep, there was no sign of fatigue at the start. Parziale extended his overall lead by making birdie on two of his first three holes. He then made three straight bogies – on holes 4 through 6 – but then delivered perhaps the biggest shot of the week. He drained a long putt on the 369-yard, par 4 7th hole to shift momentum back in his direction.
“Yesterday I hit it well and all three days I putted well and that was really the only way that I was able to hang in there today,” said Parziale. “That long putt on 7 was huge after I had bogeyed three in a row. I was able to settle down after that and make some good shots.”
Parziale was able to take advantage of the two par 5 holes on the back nine (holes 11 and 12), and then he delivered the final blow to the rest of the field when he sent his birdie putt from the fringe on the 378-yard, par 4 17th hole into the bottom of the cup.
“Today was kind of the same round I played at Brae Burn,” said Parziale. “I didn’t play great, but I putted good the whole three days and that was the difference.”
His latest victory continues what has been a career summer for Parziale. Thus far in 2017, he has won the Massachusetts Four-Ball Championship
, Amateur Invitational and the Massachusetts Amateur Championship.
"I put a lot of work in early in the year which is unlike me," said Parziale with a laugh. "The last four years I didn't really practice much, but this year I started early working with Shawn Hester who is awesome. I don't think that I was playing that well early, but I felt that I was doing the right things. Everything is coming together now. I am playing good rounds. Even when I am not hitting it good, I am scoring well and that is the key."
Finishing two back of Parziale this week were Bobby Leopold
(Coventry, RI) and Patrick Frodigh
(Dedham C&PC), who delivered the low round of the day - a 5-under par 66.
ABOUT THE Francis Ouimet Memorial
This 54-hole stroke play tournament honors
Francis Ouimet, considered America's First
Hero and one of the most important figures in
the history of golf. His victory in the 1913
U.S. Open in a stunning playoff upset of
Harry Vardon and Ted Ray is viewed as the
turning point in American Golf. The event, first
played in 1968, one year
after Ouimet's death, is held at
three top Boston-area courses, with the final round
always taking place at the 6,721 yard Woodland Golf
Ouimet's home course). The most notable winner to
date is Brad Faxon,
who captured the 1980 event. There are three
divisions: Men, Women, and Senior.
View Complete Tournament Information