Maine's Warren rises up late to win NEPGA Championship at East Providence's Wannamoisett C.C.
EAST PROVIDENCE — Shawn Warren, a fledgling pro out of Nonesuch River Golf Club in Maine, carded a 1-under par 68 Wednesday, Aug. 21, in the final round at Wannamoisett Country Club to finish with a 4-under par total and as the winner of the 93rd Annual New England PGA Championship Tournament.
Warren, who has been a "Class A" professional for less than a year, shot rounds of 69 and 68 during the first two days played at both Wannamoisett and nearby Ledgemont in Seekonk. His 4-under, 205 total was one stroke better than defending champion Eddie Kirby. The pro at Alpine C.C. in Cranston finished his three rounds (69-69-68) at 205.
Warren's win Wednesday capped a superb opening summer on the regional PGA circuit. Warren previously won both the Maine and Rhode Island Open tournaments as well as a handful of other minor NEPGA events. He took home $14,000 for his victory this week. Kirby received $7,800 for his second-place effort.
"He and I play a different game, but we always seem to be close in the end," Warren said of his burgeoning playing rivalry with Kirby.
Warren entered the final round in a share of fourth place, one shot behind a trio of leaders at 4-under after two days.
That trio of co-leaders wound up in placed third through fifth.
Robby Bruns, of Shelter Harbor in Charlestown, R.I. who held at least a share of the top spot at the end of the first two days, wound up solo third overall at 2-under after posting a 2-over 71 Wednesday.
Jeff Seavey shot 3-over 72 in the final round to finish the tournament at 1-under. Kirk Hanefeld shot 4-over 73 and wound up even par for the event.
Wannamoisett pro Troy Pare entered the final round in contention, but a 4-over 73 Wednesday left him at 2-over for the tournament and in seventh place.
After an opening nine of -1 (33), Bruns looked poised to put his hands on the Tom Mahan Sr. NEPGA Championship trophy, but two late bogeys on 15 and 16 cost him the lead. Warren countered with a timely birdie by Warren on 16 to take over the top spot. Warren then hit quality shots on 17 and 18 to finish with key pars en route to the title. By contrast, Kirby missed a makeable birdie putt on the 17th and another long attempt at the last to settle for second place.
Besides the champion, there were 12 additional winners for the week. By boosting the largest PGA Championship field in the country, the New England PGA has the chance to send 13 professionals to the PGA of America Professional National Championship in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in June of 2014.
With exemptions given to Jeff Martin, (Top 20 in 2013 Professional National Championship), Hanefeld, (Top 20 in the 2013 Professional National Championship), Ron Philo, (2006 Professional National Champion) and Warren, the other players headed to South Carolina next June are: Kirby, Bruns, Seavey, (Samoset Resort), John Hickson, (Dick’s Sporting Goods), Pare, Boomer Erick, (Boston Golf Club), Dan Wilkins, (Laconia Country Club), Aaron Ungvarsky, (Cohasset Golf Club), Matt Zdon, (Belmont Country Club), Chip Johnson, (Hatherly Country Club) and Michael Dugas, JW Parks Golf Course).