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Parziale up for Gosling’s challenge

US Mid Amatuer champ Matt Parziale during a practice round at Port Royal Golf Course (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Newly crowned US Mid-Amateur champion Matt Parziale will be among the big draws at next month’s Gosling’s Invitational.

The 30-year-old firefighter from Brockton, Massachusetts has accepted an invitation to compete in one of local golf’s signature events and is up for the challenge.

“It’s going to be a tough competition but definitely looking forward to it,” Parziale, who is also the Massachusetts Amateur champion, told The Royal Gazette.

The American golfer got the opportunity yesterday to play at Port Royal Golf Course, which will host the opening two rounds of the Gosling’s Invitational with the remaining 36 hole being played at Belmont Hills, alongside Gosling’s Invitational tournament Committee Chairman Malcolm Gosling, local professional Camiko Smith and former Somerset Bridge cricketer Steven Lambert.

“This is my first time here and the course (Port Royal) and views look awesome,” Parziale said.

Organisers have made significant changes over the last couple of years to make the Gosling’s Invitational a “world class” event.

“It was already thought of as one of the best run events on the Bermuda golf calendar but we really want to expand it and eventually double the field size and bring more visitors to Bermuda while really stepping up the competition and making it a world class event,” Gosling said.

“This year we have a new tournament director and we also have the New England Professional Golf Association that’s going to be assisting the Bermuda Golf Association with officiating and that’s a massive step.

“We also kind of affiliated ourselves with the NEPGA events while they’re going on over there sort of publicising the Gosling’s Invitational.

“We also gave entries to the NEPGA winner, Massachusetts Amateur winner, US Mid Amateur winner and Massachusetts Open winner all in an effort to attract the very top level of both amateur and professional golfers.

“Matt just won the US Mid-Amateur which is an amazing feat for anybody to do and he is going to be playing in the Gosling’s Invitational.”

The Gosling’s Invitational will be held November 27 through December 1.

Parziale won this month’s US Mid-Amateur Championship with a 8 and 6 triumph over Josh Nichols in the 36-hole final — the third largest in championship history- at Capital City Golf Club’s Crabapple Course in Atlanta. The triumph earned the golfer a spot at next year’s US Open at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, New York and potentially the Masters at Augusta National in Georgia as well.

“The Masters is a likely exemption so I have been trying to stay under the radar until I get that but the US Open is for sure,” he said.

Parziale rolled in a staggering ten birdies over 30 holes at the US Mid-Amateur Championship, eight of them arriving in the first round of the 36-hole match-play final.

“The first round of the final, the morning round, I sum up as the most important day of golf in my life,” he said. “I played one of the best rounds I’ve ever played and ended up shooting a 63 with the normal concessions in match play.

“I have been working at this (winning the US Mid-Amateur Championship) for a long time and I’m pretty proud that I was able to get it done.”