DEDHAM - "This is something I've worked for my entire life," Matt Parziale said to me the other day as we spoke on the phone.
Matt story is a great one. The 30 year old Brockton firefighter is getting ready to compete at the Masters at Augusta National next Thursday.
Matt qualified for the Masters as one of the six amateurs who win their way into the tournament each year when he won the Mid Amateur tournament in Atlanta last October. Since that time, with the blessing of the Brockton fire department, Matt has taken a leave of absence from his job to hone his golf skills. For the past four months Matt has been down south playing competitive golf and working on his game getting ready for the Masters.
During this time he has had the chance to play at Augusta National five times. Becoming more familiar with the course has given him an interesting perspective on what it takes to play competitive golf at Augusta National.
"I don't look at it as just another course. It's not just another course. It is the Masters. It is a very difficult course but at the same time, I enjoy the process of getting ready for that. Whether it's that (The Masters) or getting ready for the club championship at Thorny Lea (Golf Club in Brockton) I just enjoy preparing and being as ready as possible." Matt told me as he spoke from South Carolina recently.
Eight years ago, when Matt graduated college he turned to golf as a profession. But after three years with limited success, he decided to pursue another profession, following in the footsteps of his dad Vic. He became a Brockton firefighter.
His Dad recently retired from the department last November and he serves as Matt's caddie when he competes.
"It's great. We have a great time out there. He's been doing this with me for a long time," Matt told me about having his Dad as his caddie. "We have a blast. We don't even talk about golf when we're out there. We talk about other stuff. it's going to be an exciting week next week."
It's going to be exciting for many other folks to watch Matt compete at The Masters, especially firefighters everywhere. "Firefighters all over the country have reached out with good wishes and anything you need. That's just the way firefighters are. They are willing to help and I"m fortunate to be part of a group like that. Everyone who is a firefighter is enjoying the story and excited about next week," said Matt.
Round one of the Masters is Thursday April 5th at Augusta National.
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