Massachusetts Golf Association Players of the Year MGA Recognizes top competitor in each division

Every year, the Massachusetts Golf Association recognizes its top competitors at the Salute to Champions Dinner, an event that brings together the top competitors from the previous year. As part of the celebrations, we'll once again recognize the MGA's top player in the Richard D. Haskell Player of the Year standings, the George M. Cohen MGA Senior Player of the Year standings and the Christopher Cutler Rich MGA Junior Player of the Year Standings!

After successful seasons, the Massachusetts Golf Association is happy to honor Matt Parziale as the Richard D. Haskell MGA Player of the Year, Frank Vana, Jr. as the George M. Cohen MGA Senior Player of the Year and Mark Turner as the Christopher Cutler Rich MGA Junior Player of the Year.

Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC)
Frank Vana, Jr. (Marlborough CC)
Mark Turner (Bass Rocks GC)

30 year old Matt Parziale, a Brockton firefighter by trade, opened up the 2017 season by winning his second straight MGA Amateur Four Ball Championship with longtime competitor and friend Herbie Aikens. The pair then competed at the US Amateur Four Ball Championship at Pinehurst No. 2

Between those two Championship Propers, Parziale also won the Norfolk County Classic. He then won the Amateur Invitational at New England Country Club in late June.

Parziale picked up his first career Massachusetts Amateur Championship and his third career Ouimet Memorial Tournament Championship in July, followed by a victory at the Tarlow Invitational in August

After finishing runner up in the Massachusetts Mid Amateur Championship in late September, Parziale won the USGA US Mid Amateur Championship in Atlanta in mid-October, granting him a spot in the 2018 Masters, 2018 U.S. Open, the 2018 & 2019 U.S. Amateur's and the next 10 US Mid Amateur Championships. He becomes the first ever Bay State native to win the US Mid Amateur Championship!

With his 1603 points in the Richard D. Haskell Player of the Year Standings, Matt Parziale collected the most points by an individual since the MGA started recognizing the award in 1976. With his fourth Richard D. Haskell MGA Player of the Year, Parziale moves into a tie for second most Player of the Year Awards with Kevin Johnson, who won four straight from 1985-1988. Only Frank Vana’s nine awards are more.

Frank Vana, Jr. didn't earn his senior status until August of this year, but that didn't stop him from jumping up the George M. Cohen MGA Senior of the Year standings and collecting his division leading 500 points. After earning medalist honors at the US Senior Amateur local qualifier, the 55 year old Vana advanced all the way to the semifinal round of the US Senior Amateur Championship at Minikhada Club in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Vana advanced to match play of the 2017 MGA Amateur Championship in July then finished T4 in the MGA Senior Amateur Championship in September. His last MGA competitive event of the season, the MGA Mid-Amateur Championship, saw him place T-6. His 27th appearance in the match play portion of the Massachusetts Amateur Championship was also a record for any MGA competitor.

Bass Rock GC member Mark Turner had another tremendous season on the links, accumulating 523 points in the Christopher Cutler Rich MGA Junior Player of the Year standings, enough to net his first career Junior Player of the Year nod.

The Turner brothers were one of three sibling pairs in the field at the 2017 Amateur Championship.

Turner advanced to the quarterfinal round of match play at the MGA Amateur Championship in July and finished fourth at the Massachusetts Junior Amateur in August. He also finished sixth at the New England Junior Invitational and helped Team Massachusetts win the title against teams from each of the New England's five other state squads.

In addition to his success in MGA related events, Turner placed first overall against the nation's best juniors at the 2017 Northeast Junior Championship and finished third at the World Series of Junior Golf.

The 2018 Salute to Champions Dinner, where we will honor these three Players of the Year, will be held Thursday, January 11. For information & tickets, visit www.mgalinks.org

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