The U.S. Mid-Amateur typically signals the end of the golf season for Matt Parziale.

Not long after the tournament ends – usually early for Parziale, who never won a match in three previous tries – he puts the clubs away and falls into a routine schedule as a firefighter on Ladder 1 for the Brockton Fire Department in Massachusetts.

His weekends are more likely to be spent on the ski slopes of New Hampshire than the fairways of Thorny Lea Golf Club.

“If this didn’t happen, I wouldn’t play again,” Parziale said. “I’d play on the nice days until the snow melts in March or April. Now I’ve got some things to figure out next year. It will be a different winter but I’m excited.”

What happened?

Three days later, he was still trying to get his head around a most wonderful week.

Parziale made it out of the first round. And the second. In the quarterfinals he was 5 down with eight holes to play and won that, too. The championship match was a blowout. The firefighter was as hot as he had been all week, making eight birdies for a 6-up lead after the morning 18 holes and closing out Josh Nichols, 8 and 6, to win the U.S. Mid-Amateur.

Now about that winter.

For the first time, the U.S. Mid-Amateur champion is exempt into the U.S. Open. That’s in June. He also gets into the U.S. Amateur. That’s in August. The more pressing perk is going to the Masters. That’s in April, by which time the snow hopefully has melted outside Boston.

“You don’t take five months off and show up at Augusta,” Parziale said.

Tiger Woods did that in 2010 and tied for fourth.

“Yeah, but that’s Tiger,” Parziale said with a laugh.

That’s his idol.

Parziale was 9 when he watched the Masters for the first time and saw Woods break 20 records on his way to a 12-shot victory. He was 16 when Woods won a World Golf Championship.

So when asked if he could play a practice round at the Masters with one person, Parziale didn’t hesitate.

“Tiger, and there’s not even a close second,” he said. “I play because of Tiger Woods. I was the perfect age to see him.”

Woods posted a video Sunday of him swinging a driver, and his agent said doctors have cleared him to resume golf activities without limitations, though returning to competition hasn’t been discussed. Still, there’s hope.

For Parziale, 30, there’s always hope.

Parziale barely could break 80 and couldn’t win a tournament in high school, but found his way to Southeastern University, an NAIA school in Lakeland, Florida. Playing golf in Florida during the winter sounded appealing, and he developed into the golfer he always thought he could be.

Good enough to turn pro? He gave it a shot, spending three years on mini-tours with more frustration than success. One break, one great week, might have changed everything. Parziale could have kept trying but that would have put him further behind if he wanted to start a career.

So he became a firefighter, just like his father, Vic, a captain at the Brockton Fire Department.

Parziale applied to be reinstated as an amateur and remained competitive in New England – three times the Massachusetts Golf Association player of the year – with a schedule that allowed for golf when he wasn’t working his 24-hour shifts at the station.

He dreamed in college of playing the Masters and U.S. Open. He’ll go to Augusta National as a firefighter.

The U.S. Mid-Amateur, for players 25 or older, was created for post-college players who didn’t pursue a career in golf. Parziale was among 43 percent of players who previously had been a pro, though he was worthy of reinstatement. His short time as a pro featured long hours and low pay. His calling was on a rooftop, not on tour.

His father caddied for him at the U.S. Mid-Amateur, and he’ll be on the bag at the Masters and U.S. Open. His fiancee, Ali, was at a tournament for the first time. They already set their wedding date for Aug. 18, the same day as the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur.

“Now she’s into whether she should change the date,” he said.

Parziale never knew winning could mean so much disruption. All things considered, nice problems to have.