Parel wins Air Capital Classic by three shots
June 16, 2013
By Royce Thompson, PGATOUR.COM
- Scott Parel won for the first time on the Web.com Tour at the Air Capital Classic. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
WICHITA, Kan. – Scott Parel fired a 64 in the final round going birdie-eagle-birdie on holes 13-15 Sunday afternoon at Crestview Country Club. Parel’s seven-under par round moved him to 18-under 266, good enough for a three-stroke win over Alex Aragon at the Air Capital Classic. Alex Prugh finished in third alone at 271 while Camilo Benedetti, Franklin Corpening and Steve Wheatcroft finished in a tie for fourth, six shots off the pace.
Parel’s win comes in his 161st event on the Web.com Tour earning him a check for $117,000 moving him from 153 to 14 on the Tour money list.
Parel had a one-stroke lead heading into the back nine. The University of Georgia alum made two huge putts for par on 10 and 11. That confidence with the putter carried him into 13 where he made a nice putt for birdie before rolling in a 45-foot eagle putt on the par-5 14th. Parel would follow that up with one last birdie on 15 allowing him to separate from the pack.
“All week long over longer putts I felt like I could make them,” he said. “From 20 feet and out I felt like I really had the speed and could really see the line.”
Parel’s story is very interesting. He did not play golf in college because it was more important for him to get an education at UGA. Once he graduated he became a computer programmer and, after 10 years of working, he left his job at Power Cerv to chase his dream of becoming a professional golfer.
Parel is now inside the top 25 on the money list, which is important because after the Cox Classic 25 PGA TOUR cards will be awarded to the top money earners. Originally the Michigan native wanted to be inside the top 75 after Omaha and try his luck in the Web.com Tour Finals, but his victory has changed his mindset heading into the second half off the season.
“Obviously I’m playing well now,” he said. “My goal now is to climb up there as high as I can and a win is a good start toward it.”
Parel’s good play comes at an opportune time. Next week the Web.com Tour will be in Raleigh, N.C. for the Rex Hospital Open, where he lost in a playoff to James Hahn. The 48-year-old pro is really excited to get back to TPC Wakefield Plantation where he will try and earn his second win.
“I think I got a great shot,” he said. “If I’m putting like that, I got a pretty good chance.”
Final-Round Notes & Quotes:
-- This week’s purse is $650,000 with $117,000 going to the champion.
-- Scott Parel’s victory is his first on the Web.com Tour.
-- Parel becomes the oldest champion at this event at 48 years, 1 month, and 2 days. He also becomes the fourth oldest winner of a Web.com Tour event.
-- Parel’s winner’s check for $117,000 moves him up to No. 14 on the Web.com Tour money list.
-- Parel’s 64 on Sunday ties Jhonattan Vegas (2010) for the tournament-low final round.
-- Alex Aragon birdied his final hole of the tournament which placed him in solo second. The runner-up finish earns Aragon a payday of $70,200 putting him at third on the money list almost guaranteeing him his PGA TOUR card for 2014.
“I knew a second or third would lock it up,” he said. “To do it this early in the season is awesome because that means I can pick and choose where I play the rest of the season.”
Aragon has put together a team of people around him that have made this a more enjoyable year on the Web.com Tour. Also he has put in a lot of work and it has really started to pay off and hopes to carry it into the four Final’s events at the end of the year.
-- Jace Long, who Monday qualified for the event, shot a 67 in the final round to finish in a tie for seventh. Long just finished up and the University of Missouri in May and was making his pro debut this week at the Air Capital Classic. His top-25 finish earns him a spot in the field next week at the Rex Hospital Open, where he originally planned on trying to Monday in.
“It’s probably the most fun I’ve ever had on a golf course,” he said about his play this week. “It’s been one of the best weeks of my life.”
Long, who earned a check for $19,581.25, was able to share the week with friends and family and is very excited about the rest of the year.
-- Rob Oppenheim fired a 65 on Sunday including a stretch where he birdied six consecutive holes. Oppenheim started on the back nine and birdied 16 through 18, he then made the turn and birded one through three for the longest streak of birdies recorded this week at the Air Capital Classic.