Matt Parziale, a 30-year-old firefighter from Massachusetts, earned a spot in the 2018 Masters and U.S. Open tournaments with a victory at the United States Mid-Amateur Championship on Friday.
Per the Associated Press (via ESPN.com), Parziale defeated Josh Nichols 8 and 6 in the final to win the event held on the Crabapple Course at Capital City Golf Club in Georgia.
U.S. Open (USGA) @usopengolf
Congrats to #USMidAm champion Matt Parziale, who has earned a spot in the 118th #USOpen! See you at Shinnecock! https://t.co/dWAK3DNUoZ2017-10-13 20:06:24
"At the time, I didn't know I would be the one going, but I'm very fortunate to have that opportunity now," Parziale said after his win. "I'm very excited for the upcoming year."
The finals consisted of 36 holes. Parziale got off to an excellent start with eight birdies over the first 18 holes during the morning session, going into the afternoon seven up.
Parziale only lost one of the 12 holes during the afternoon session, with a birdie on the par-five 30th hole that sealed the victory. His margin of victory represents the third-biggest in the history of the tournament, according to the AP.
“I had some good numbers, was able to stay aggressive and had the putter going and made some nice putts, and was fortunate to have a pretty decent lead going into the afternoon," Parziale said, via John Strege of Golf Digest. "I was locked in with the numbers. I knew exactly how far I was hitting them. I had the speed of the greens down. It was a special day."
The 2018 Masters will take place April 5-8 at Augusta National Golf Club. The U.S. Open is scheduled for June 14-17 in Shinnecock Hills, New York.