ATLANTA - Matt Parziale won the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship on Friday, routing Josh Nichols 8 and 6 in the 36-hole final to earn spots next year in the U.S. Open and Masters.
The 30-year-old Parziale, a firefighter from Brockton, Massachusetts, had 10 birdies - eight during the morning 18 - over 30 holes at Capital City Golf Club's Crabapple Course.
Last week, the USGA announced that the U.S. Mid-Amateur winner would earn a spot in the U.S. Open, set for June 14-17 at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton, New York.
''At the time, I didn't know I would be the one going, but I'm very fortunate to have that opportunity now,'' Parziale said. ''I'm very excited for the upcoming year.''
Parziale's margin of victory matched the third-largest in championship history. The 2017 Massachusetts Amateur champion's 7-under 63 in the morning 18 - with the usual match-play concessions - was the best score in a U.S. Mid-Amateur final since the USGA switched the format to 36 holes in 2001.
The 26-year-old Nichols is a wedding caterer in Kernersville, North Carolina.
''I didn't play that bad,'' Nichols said. ''He played amazing. Even great golf couldn't keep up.''