Zelmati mounts massive comeback to win Massachusetts Mid-Amateur title in playoff

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Arthur Zelmati looked at the leaderboard for the 37th Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Championship and didn't waiver. Despite a well-known name in the golfing world sitting ahead of him, Zelmati stayed the course and forced himself into contention by erasing a 7-shot deficit to force a playoff against two-time champion Matt Parziale, before defeating Parziale in three holes of a sudden-death playoff at GreatHorse.

Zelmati tied with Parziale on the 17th hole of the third round, then the two golfers tied on the 18th and the first two playoff holes (Nos. 18 and 1). On the third playoff hole, No. 15, Zelmati secured his win.

Using a pitching wedge, Zelmati settled his shot two feet away from the win on the 127-yard hole, then one-tapped his putt into the hole. Parziale, meanwhile, two-putted on the hole.

The win is Zelmati's first Mass Golf championship.

"It's more than I even hoped for," said Zelmati in a release by Mass Golf. "I think it's a great achievement after working so hard on my game and feeling like I was probably playing a little bit better in practice then getting nervous in tournaments."

Both Zelmati (Cranberry Valley) and Parziale (Thorney Leaf Golf Club) played six-under-par golf in the three rounds of the Mid-Am, with both shooting a 210. Zelmati shot a 68 on Thursday to get into contention, while Parziale shot a 75 — seven strokes worse than Round 2, and eight off his opening-round score.

Nick Maccario (Bradford Country Club) finished third at 214, while Brandon Parker (217) and Colin Brennan (220) rounded out the top 5. Local golfer Josh Shepard (Country Club of Pittsfield) tied for 13th, shooting a 73 in the third round to finish at a 228 total, tied with Nick Resor.

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