Courtesy of New England Golf Association
Standing on the 18th tee Cody Paladino
needed a par to win the 92nd New England Amateur Championship at Great River Golf Club. Two perfect shots on the par 4 closer left him just 14 feet to negotiate. After just missing his birdie, he knocked home the winning par put from just outside a foot.
Following the winning put was an outpour of emotion from Paladino who immediately embraced his swing coach Tom Rosati. Brought to tears by his victory, Paladino then hugged his mother while getting cheers of support from the crowd surrounding the 18th hole.
When asked about what this win means, Paladino said “When you hear people win a big event they say, ‘You know I can't really put it into words.’ That is probably the best way to summarize how I feel.”
Having his fair share of close calls over the past two years added to the jubilation he felt on the 18th green “I can't even count how many second-place finishes and I think I'm up to four or five six second place finishes. So, you know, it just, it's amazing to finally have a victory.”
While he made it look easy, Paladino’s triumph came with a few charges from others in the field. Through five holes, the top of the leaderboard was bunched with Paladino and Xavier Marcoux at 8-under and Jack Brown 7-under. By making par on holes 6-9, Paladino was able to separate himself from the group of leaders. Thanks to a few bogeys by the others, Paladino held a two-stroke lead heading to the back.
On the back, Paladino continued his steady play while Caleb Manuel
and Owen Quinn
kept themselves in the hunt by playing even-par golf over the first 10 holes. But it was Manuel that made the made the strongest charge on Paladino. Manuel’s charge started on 13, where he made birdie and carried the momentum to 15 where he poured in another.
The real excitement came on the 17th hole, which is a reachable par 5 for everyone in the field. After his tee shot found the fairway, Manuel delivered a beautifully flighted iron shot that landed just short of the green and ran up to seven feet. He then jarred the eagle putt to get to 9-under for the Championship.
“I knew I had to go for it on 17 but I wasn't in the best position. I just kind of ran it down there and that's what the shot called for.” Said Manuel. “And when I heard it was 5-10 feet I was like, ‘oh wow’ I didn't even know I was putting. Then to make that putt was pretty big.” A closing par on 18 left Manuel just one shot short of a playoff.
was one of Paladino’s closest competitors throughout the day. A bogey on 14 took him out of contention for the title, but back-to-back birdies on 17 and 18 got him to -8 for the Championship and into solo 3rd. He and Matt Parziale joined Paladino as the only players to break par in all three rounds of the championship.
Nicholas Waddington posted an impressive 66 on Thursday. He started his day with nine straight pars before getting circle-happy on the back nine and made four birdies and an eagle to shoot a 6-under 30 and get to 2-under. He eventually tied for sixth.
ABOUT THE New England Amateur
Held since 1926, the New England Amateur
brings together players from six New England
area states — Connecticut, Maine,
Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and
Rhode Island. The event host rotates between
each of the six represented states. The
tournament has been won by notable PGA Tour
players such as JJ Henry (1998), Tim Petrovic
(1986), Billy Andrade (1983), and Brad Faxon
Entries are open to amateur golfers who hold
membership in a
club belonging to one of the six New England State
Associations and have an up-to-date USGA/GHIN
not exceeding 6.4
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