Mass. firefighter on his way to the Masters
Brockton Fire Department firefighter Matt Parziale said he wasn’t going to play again if he hadn’t surprisingly won the U.S. Mid-Amateur
By FireRescue1 Staff
BROCKTON, Mass. — A firefighter and part-time golf player is headed to the Masters after unexpectedly winning the U.S. Mid-Amateur tournament.
AP News reported that Brockton Fire Department firefighter Matt Parziale, who hadn’t won a match in his three previous attempts, won the championship match with a blowout.
“If this didn’t happen, I wouldn’t play again,” Parziale said. “I’d play on the nice days until the snow melts in March or April. Now, I’ve got some things to figure out next year. It will be a different winter, but I’m excited.”
The U.S. Mid-Amateur champion gets a spot at the U.S. Open for the first time, as well as the U.S. Amateur and the Masters, which is in April.
“You don’t take five months off and show up at Augusta,” Parziale said.
Parziale’s golfing started in high school, but it wasn’t until he moved to Florida that he became the golfer he always thought he could be. After spending three years trying to go pro on mini-tours, he decided to switch gears and become a firefighter like his father, who caddied for him at the U.S. Mid-Amateur.
Parziale continued to play as an amateur and was the Massachusetts Golf Associaton Player of the Year three times.
When asked who he would play a practice round with if he got to choose, Parziale didn’t hesitate to name the pro golf player he first saw at the Masters when he was 9.
“Tiger, and there’s not even a close second,” he said. “I play golf because of Tiger Woods. I was the perfect age to see him.”