Leader halfway to first victory
HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — Scott Parel walked off the course thinking somebody would overtake him. Instead, he’s halfway to his first PGA Tour Champions victory — and it happens to be a major.
Parel grabbed a onestroke lead in the Constellation Senior Players Championship, shooting a 6-under 66 Friday in the second round to reach 11 under.
Parel, 53, made seven birdies after starting the day two shots off the lead.
“I’ve been playing good golf, right there in contention a lot of times,” he said. “And that helps. The more you’re up there, the more comfortable you are. If you do it once every few weeks, then maybe you get a little bit uncomfortable. But I feel good right now.”
Parel remained in the lead when Jeff Maggert three-putted from about 15 feet to bogey the par-4 18th. That left Maggert (68) tied with Brandt Jobe (67) at 10 under in the fourth of five majors on the tour’s schedule.
Three-time champion Bernhard Langer (67), defending champion Scott McCarron (68), Kenny Perry (70) and Vijay Singh (67) were in a pack two strokes off the lead. Illinois coach Mike Small shot 71 and was three shots back.
This is just the second time Parel has led after a round in a PGA Tour Champions event. He shared the first-round lead at the 2017 Chubb Classic before finishing tied for 10th.
Parel did not play in college at Georgia, and worked in computers for 10 years before turning pro. He missed the cut in four of his five career PGA Tour starts. On the over-50 tour, he has 13 top-10 finishes in 52 starts. That includes ties for second at the Mitsubishi Electric Classic near Atlanta in April and Principal Charity Classic in June in Des Moines, Iowa.
Parel pulled ahead even though he was a bit off target with his driver. He finished with a birdie on 18.
“I think if the conditions stay the same, you’re going to have to shoot the same kind of scores that I’ve shot the last two days to have a chance to win,” he said. “The course is in perfect shape. The greens are perfect, makeable speed and smooth. So guys are going to make a lot of birdies out here.”