Courtesy of Rhode Island Golf Association
Jordan Amorin walked up to the final green knowing what he had to do.
Fellow competitor and Day One leader Nick Hedden had just stuffed his approach on No. 18 (par 4, 420 yards) for a tap-in birdie.
Amorin needed to get up-and-down for par from a juicy lie to win.
Hitting a feel shot under pressure is one of the most challenging shots in golf.
“I just wanted to get the chip on the green,” said Amorin. “In my mind I knew if I got it on the green, I would have a putt to win regardless of the distance.”
Amorin, the relative newcomer, hit the chip to two feet and delivered.
Amorin, aided by a steady game and relaxed attitude, outlasted the field to claim the 28th Rhode Island Mid-Amateur Tuesday at Ledgemont Country Club (par 71, 6,801 yards).
He finished at 3 under for the two days after a final round of 70. Hedden, of Connecticut National Golf Club, finished at 2 under after a final round of 73.
“It is a special tournament to win,” said Amorin, 34, of Swansea, Mass. “It is a whole different ballgame as a Mid-Am. We work, we have families, and we can’t play golf as much as we used to. We love the game, but life gets in the way. We do our best to find the time to play and practice. I can’t play golf six days a week. I have an amazing wife (Melissa) and an amazing 17-month-old son Paul. I enjoy being with them.”
Sitting two shots back of Hedden didn’t cause any stress for Amorin.
“I liked the position I was in,” said Amorin, of Crestwood Country Club. “I knew I wasn’t going to make a lot of bogeys, so I felt my chances were good. I knew that if I stayed patient long enough, I would be able to wear out my competitors and outlast them. When I was in pressure situations I felt the nerves, but I just embraced them.”
He still trailed by two shots as they made the turn. But a clutch birdie on No. 10 (par 4, 386 yards), matched by Hedden, kept him two back.
There was a time where Amorin, Hedden and Swansea Country Club’s Kevin Blaser shared the lead at 3 under.
But No. 14 (par 4, 396 yards) was where Amorin felt the tournament was his.
“I was kicking myself on No. 14,” said Amorin. “I left myself 60 yards for my second and I don’t like that yardage at all. I hit my driver so well that I rely on it, but it left me an awkward yardage. I hit a great shot and almost made it.”
Amorin elevated a 58-degree wedge to nine feet.
But his best stroke with the putter put him back into a share of the lead after a bogey on No. 13 (par 4, 400 yards).
Blaser had lost momentum and Hedden kept making bogeys. A tie for the lead was indeed a tie, but momentum-wise Amorin said he felt he was in the lead.
Amorin said the shot of the day for him came on No. 17 (par 4, 431 yards). Sitting in the right rough for his second, Amorin hit a beautiful pitching wedge from 162 yards that floated in the clouds. His pitch mark landed a foot from the hole but rolled out to 12 feet.
“I hit a lot of quality shots down the stretch,” said Amorin. “For someone like me who hasn’t played in a lot of these events shows what Mid-Ams are capable of.”
As he completed his maiden RIGA victory, Amorin couldn’t help but notice that he had more than 50 text messages minutes after winning.
“Honestly, I hit the putt to win off the neck of the putter,” said Amorin. “I was lucky the putt curled in. I was happy. The first thing I did was text my wife. My phone started to blow up.”
Amorin started playing in RIGA events just over a year ago. He exudes self-confidence and happiness. He savors every moment and cherishes the opportunities to prove himself against the best players in the region.
“I kept telling myself that eventually I am going to win one of these events,” said Amorin. “I felt good coming into this event, and I felt like I could score well. You must start somewhere. I just happened to start here at Ledgemont. What a great feeling.”
On the last day of the summer, the Summer of Dean went out with a bang.
Dean Parziale capped what has been an awesome summer for him and his trophy collection.
Parziale, of Agawam Hunt, won the Senior Division of the #RIMidAm Tuesday at Ledgemont (par 71, 6,492 yards) for his second victory of the 2021 campaign.
He claimed the Senior Division of the #RIStrokePlay at Alpine Country Club in July.
His two-day total of 1 over was good enough for a two-shot victory over Dr. George Pirie of Valley Country Club.
“For the longest time I didn’t think I could ever win medal play golf tournaments,” said Parziale. “This year has been a revelation for me.
“It is not easy to win these tournaments. They are such a grind and require you to maintain focus on each golf shot. One mental lapse can cost you.”
Parziale made two key birdies on Nos. 13 (par 4, 388 yards) and 16 (par 4, 422 yards) to give him the cushion he would ultimately need.
He hit an 8-iron from 140 to a foot on No. 13 and hit a 5-hybrid from 190 yards to five feet on No. 16.
“I am definitely not as wild as I used to be off the tee,” said Parziale. “I always struggled to keep the ball in play. But I have become more consistent as I have gotten older. I don’t make that many big numbers. Those big numbers are a killer in stroke play.”
That was much-needed cushion. He bogeyed Nos. 17 (par 4, 421 yards) and No. 18 (par 4, 404 yards) but it didn’t matter.
He has vaulted into the lead for Senior Player of the Year. He holds a 65-point lead over Ledgemont’s Derek Johnson with the John P. Burke Memorial remaining.
“This is as good of a season as I have ever had,” said Parziale, 61, of East Providence. “I am proud of how I have played. It’s nice to win RIGA events because you know you earned it.”View results for Rhode Island Mid-Amateur