The story of Scott Parel is not a life story so much as a new lease-on-life story that began in 2015. When he turned 50, he turned his golf career around.
Parel, 54, whose golf career was largely a swing and a miss before he qualified for the PGA Tour Champions, won the Chubb Classic on Sunday, his third senior victory.
The Georgia graduate shot a bogey-free eight-under par 63 at the Classics at Lely Resort in Naples, Fla. He played 54 holes in 17-under par 196, two shots ahead of runner-up Bob Estes.
Parel did not play golf at Georgia. He studied computer science and went to work as a programmer. At 31, he decided to pursue professional golf, but never made it to the PGA Tour. He played only five PGA Tour events, missed the cut in four of them and tied for 57th in other, the BellSouth Classic in 2006, earning $11,660.
But he has aged well, to wit the success he’s had on the senior tour. In the previous three seasons, he has earned more than $4.2 million. He earned $240,000 for this win, his first since the 2018 season, when he won twice.
In the ensuing months, he often was in contention without delivering a victory, until Sunday, when he started three strokes behind, then methodically took control of the tournament.
“It was really important for me,” he said. “You know you’re not going to win any time you’re in contention, but then you start to wonder how many more times are you going to get into contention. For me to be in contention and finish the job was very, very important.”
He attributed the victory to his putting. “My speed was great today,” he said. “When you make that 12 footer on the first hole it gives you a little confidence.”
It helped, too, when he chipped in for birdie at the second hole.
Estes, a four-time PGA Tour winner still seeking his first senior victory, shot a seven-under par 64 that included eight birdies and one bogey.