Matt Parziale wins U.S. Mid-Amateur, secures spot in 2018 Masters, U.S. Open

2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur Getty Images

Matt Parziale wins U.S. Mid-Amateur, secures spot in 2018 Masters, U.S. Open

Amateur

Matt Parziale wins U.S. Mid-Amateur, secures spot in 2018 Masters, U.S. Open

Matt Parziale’s timing could not have been better. The 30-year-old firefighter defeated Josh Nichols, 8 and 6, in the 36-hole championship match of the U.S. Mid-Amateur Friday at Capital City Golf Club’s Crabapple Course in Atlanta.

That means Parziale will likely receive a Masters invite and is also headed to Shinnecock Hills for the 2018 U.S. Open, with the USGA announcing last week that the men’s and women’s Mid-Amateur champions would earn a spot in the field.

“That was a great announcement,” Parziale said in a release. “At the time I didn’t know I would be the one going, but I’m very fortunate to have that opportunity now. I’m very excited for the upcoming year.”

The Brockton, Mass. native made eight birdies in the first 18 holes of the championship match to shoot 7-under 63, the best score in a U.S. Mid-Amateur final since the tournament switched to a 36-hole championship match in 2001.

“I didn’t play that bad,” said Nichols, 26. “He played amazing. Even great golf couldn’t keep up.”

Parziale, who hadn’t made it past U.S. Open sectional qualifying in three prior attempts, birdied a par 5 to seal the match on the 30th hole after hitting the green with his 2-iron approach from 239 yards out. He came back from five down with eight holes to play to beat stroke-play medalist Bradford Tilley in Thursday’s quarterfinal match and topped Dan Sullivan, 5 and 4, in the semifinals.

The Southeastern University product had never won a U.S. Mid-Amateur match in three prior attempts and earned exemption into the next two U.S. Amateurs with the win. Nichols earned a spot in next year’s U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach.

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