Headline: Matt Parziale Captures 109th Massachusetts Amateur Championship; Scores a 4 and 3 Victory Over Matt Cowgill at Charles River Country Club

For Immediate Release: July 14, 2017

Matt Parziale holds The Massachusetts Cup after capturing the 109th Massachusetts Amateur Championship title at Charles River Country Club.

Newton, MA — Nine years have passed since Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC) competed in the final match of the Massachusetts Amateur Championship.

He lost in 2008. He won in 2017.

After Parziale raised The Massachusetts Cup high on Friday afternoon following an impressive 4 and 3 victory over Matt Cowgill (Wayland CC) at Charles River Country Club, he took a moment to reflect on the journey that has led him to earn the most prestigious amateur title that any Bay State golfer could ever win.

“I wasn’t as tired then,” said 30-year-old Parziale with a laugh. “That was only my second State Amateur. I didn’t even expect to make the finals that year. I was just happy to make match play, and then I found myself in the finals. I was so close and it takes so long to get back I almost took it for granted the first time. This time is special.”

As a result of his performance this week, Parziale’s name will now appear alongside the game’s greatest players. Hall of Famers such as Donald Ross, Francis Ouimet, Fred Wright, Ted Bishop and Frank Vana, Jr. will now be joined by the name of Matt Parziale.

“There is a lot to think about,” said Parziale, who also becomes the first competitor since Vana in 2004 to capture this title as the reigning Richard D. Haskell MGA Player of the Year. “I look at the names of the guys who have won it before, and I am finally able to join them.”

On this day, Parziale made a statement early against Cowgill, who at the age of 21 was making his second appearance in match play. The Brockton native played 1-under par golf through his first 10 holes, hit every green in regulation on the front nine and held a 5-up advantage through 18 holes.

“It was discouraging to fall back that much that fast,” said Cowgill. “But there was so much golf today with 36 holes that I wasn’t too nervous, but it just made it really difficult for me to get back into it. Those holes that I got back later on I was hoping that they would get me back to even instead they got to me 3 and 4. It was too many dropped holes at the beginning.”

Following a brief lunch break, Parziale made a move that defined the match and set the stage for his eventual victory.

His second shot from 239 yards out on the 542-yard, par 5 2nd hole (the 20th hole of the match) hit the flagstick and settled inches from the hole. It brought back memories of Parziale’s first albatross in competition … one that he made nearly two years ago en route to a record-breaking victory at the 2015 Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Championship held at Marlborough Country Club.

“That was crazy,” said Parziale. “I was proud to hit some good shots down the stretch like I did here.”

Following the almost albatross shot, Parziale matched Cowgill's birdie on the very next hole and then sent a laser iron shot within feet on the 155-yard, par 3 4th hole to extend his lead to 7 up.

“He definitely took advantage of those holes in the beginning,” said Cowgill. “I was trying to do exactly what he did. I just couldn’t get going early enough. That is key to take advantage of those holes in the beginning. There are plenty of birdie holes out there after, but I just couldn’t get them to go.”

Cowgill did his best to keep pace and played 2-under par golf through the 15 afternoon holes, but Parziale always seemed to have an answer. On three occassions when Cowgill made birdie during the second half of the match, Parziale either matched or beat him.

“When you make birdie you are thinking that you will probably win the hole and when he still has the honor on the next tee it stinks,” said Cowgill. “It just makes it really tough to get back into it, but those weren’t the holes that cost me I think. It was the holes that I let him win with pars. That was the difference.”

Although the end result was not what he had hoped for, this week marks the best finish for Cowgill in this event. And if the future was to be told now, there is much light ahead for the rising senior at James Madison University. After all, Cowgill - at the age of 21 – is almost exactly the same age as Parziale was when he made his finals debut in 2008.

“He is awesome,” said Parziale. “He hits it straight and putts it really well. He has really good control of his shots and is just a really good player.”

But on this day, all the glory belonged to the 30-year-old Parziale who can - after nine years - finally call himself a Massachusetts Amateur Champion.

FINAL MATCH SUMMARY

Parziale got off to a hot start, winning each of the first three holes to jump out to an early 3-up lead. After both competitors carded 3’s on the par-3 4th hole, Cowgill couldn’t escape trouble in the bunker on the 5th hole, allowing Parziale to extend the lead early on. The score remained unchanged until the 9th green, where Cowgill was forced to two-putt, allowing his opponent to jump out to his largest lead of the day. On the back nine, Parziale’s first bogey of the day opened the door for the rising James Madison University senior Cowgill to chip away at the lead, a feat he accomplished on the par-3 11th hole. Picking up his first birdie on the 12th hole, Cowgill couldn’t keep up the trend however, and saw Parziale quickly regain the lead on 13 with his second birdie of the day. Fast forward to the 16th and Cowgill's fifth bogey of the morning match paved the way for Parziale to once again push the lead back to five holes at the midway point of the Championship match.

In the second half of the match, what looked like it would be a throw away got very interesting very quickly. After Parziale pushed his lead to as much as 7 up after making eagle on the match’s 20th hole, courtesy of an approach shot from 240 yards out that hit the flagstick, and a birdie on the 22nd hole, Cowgill started to make his turn around, which started with Parziale making bogey on the 23rd hole. From there, Cowgill carded birdie on the 429-yard par-4 8th hole, playing as the 26th hole of the match and the 358-yard par 4 12th hole, playing as the 30th hole of the match, to pull within 3 up of Parziale with 6 holes remaining. However, Cowgill made bogey on the par-4 13th hole to push the lead back to four before Parziale made birdie on the 33rd and final hole for the 4 & 3 victory.  

©2003- Massachusetts Golf Association. All rights reserved. Site Design by RainCastle Communications, Inc.