Brockton Native Brings Home Robert T. Jones Memorial Trophy
It was late July 2009, eight years ago, that I first became aware of Matt Parziale, an amateur golfer who played out of Thorny Lea Golf Club in Brockton, Massachusetts. He had just graduated from Southeastern University in Florida and won the 2009 New England Amateur at Portsmouth CC in New Hampshire. That week in 2009 we chose Matt for the cover of our August issue of New England Golf Monthly Magazine. At that time, the last two Bay State golfers to win this title – Mike Welch (2003, 2004) and James Renner (2005) standouts at Johnson & Wales (FL) turned professional soon after winning this marquee regional tournament. Matt had pretty much the same plans for his future after the victory.
Parziale, who has a collection of trophies on his mantel, was All-America in college, and is a former Massachusetts Golf Association player of the year. He spent three years on golf’s minor league circuit before abandoning his life as a touring pro, regaining his amateur status, and settling into the rhythms of life as a Brockton, MA Firefighter spending his days off on the fairways maintaining his skills in the game. The formula seems to have paid dividends with a U.S. Mid- Amateur victory in October in Atlanta Georgia for the Brockton native.
Matt since 2014, has served alongside his dad, Fire Captain Vic Parzaile, a 32-year veteran firefighter. They spend their days and nights serving side by side at Fire Station 1 on West Street in Brockton. They have also been and Father/Son team on the course as Vic has been on the bag for many of Matts major events. “He caddies all the big ones,” Matt said of his father. “He used to caddie all of them, and he still makes sure he’s always there for the big ones.” After arriving home at 2AM after the victory in Atlanta, Parziale didn’t get much time to celebrate Friday night, but said that after his shift on Saturday he’d head up to Thorny Lea, his home course, to catch up with some friends from home. Several, including his fiancé, Ali Hubbard, had made it down to Atlanta in time to see his big win. He also wanted to take some time share the great victory with others on his home turf.
With the Robert T Jones Memorial Trophy in hand he is about to embark on a dream-like season in 2018. His schedule will include a likely invitation to the 2018 Masters at Augusta National, The 2018 U.S. Open at Handcock Hills, in Southampton, NY and the 118th U.S. Amateur in August at Pebble Beach.
I am not sure if “8” is Matt’s Lucky number but along with all the other dates and times in 2018 he has plan to get married on 8/18/18 which is the week the U.S. Amateur will be played at Pebble Beach. Unless he is getting married on the 8th or 18th hole he might have to consider another lucky “8” Date.