WORCESTER >> Jason Thrasher, who led through the first 36 holes of the Massachusetts Open, overcame a poor start to his final round that saw his lead vanish to capture the $15,000 first prize in a three-hole aggregate playoff with New Hampshire pro Mark Stevens.
Thrasher, who lives in West Suffield, Conn., and is a member at Agawam's Crestview Country Club, trailed by a shot heading into the final hole, but made a clutch seven-foot birdie putt to force a playoff with Stevens, who rallied with final-round 4-under-par 66 to briefly hold the lead.
Thrasher made a double bogey on the par-5 second hole and a bogey on the par-4 third but recovered by making three birdies and 12 pars over the final 15 holes to shoot an even-par 70. Both players finished regulation at 4-under 206.
Thrasher, who recorded his first tournament win since graduating from Bryant College in 2010, took a one-shot lead with a par on the first playoff hole and all but clinched the win by draining a 25-foot birdie putt on the second.
"I heard the name Byron Nelson and I didn't hear anything after that," said Thresher, who was clearly emotional when asked about the significance of winning a trophy that has been captured by golf legends such as Nelson, Donald Ross, Walter Hagen, Francis Ouimet and Gene Sarazen, to name just a few.
New York pro Matthew Campbell (71-69-67 — 207) tied for third place with Maine's Matt Hutchins (69-68-70 — 207). Hutchins earned low amateur honors by one shot over Thorny Lea Golf Club's Matt Parziale (69-69-70 — 208).