Scott Parel grabs one shot lead at Senior PGA Championship
May 23, 2019
By Associated Press, PGATOUR.COM
- May 23, 2019
- Scott Parel is going for his first career major title. (Getty Images)
PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Scott Parel took advantage of ideal scoring conditions Thursday morning to shoot a 4-under 66 and take the first-round lead in the weather-delayed Senior PGA Championship.
The gusting afternoon wind, which buffeted flags and shook hospitality tents across Oak Hill Country Club's East Course, hadn't yet fully arrived when Parel closed with birdies on the par-4 17th and 18th.
Retief Goosen, Marco Dawson and Ken Tanigawa were a stroke back.
The round was completed just before 9 p.m., about a half-hour after the sun set, and 14 hours after the first group teed off. The long day was the result of late-morning thunderstorms that caused a delay of 2 hours, 15 minutes.
Parel also eagled the par-5 fourth, dropped a stroke on the par-4 seventh and birdied the par-5 13th.
Jesper Parnevik, Jeff Maggert and Darren Clarke shot 69s on the 6,800-yard course that changed in complexion with the dramatic shifts in weather that rolled through suburban Rochester.
The day began with temperatures in the mid-60s and hardly a whiff of a breeze. Though rain softened the usually fast greens in the afternoon, players faced 15 to 25 mph wind, with gusts up to 40. That played havoc on the narrow course with tiny greens and placed a premium on avoiding the rough.
Of the 15 players who finished under par, 12 came from the morning groups and just three from the afternoon.
The morning groups combined to finish averaging a score of 73, with the average ballooning to nearly 76 among the afternoon players.
"We couldn't have had it any easier," said Goosen, who had four birdies and a bogey after teeing off at 8:20 a.m. "There was not a breath of wind and the greens were still fresh. So birdies were there to be made early on."
Defending champion Paul Broadhurst was in a group of 12 players who shot even-par 70.
PGA TOUR Champions money leader Scott McCarron failed to take advantage of morning advantage by shooting 2 over. He was playing his third major in three weeks after winning the senior major Regions Tradition and then missing the cut at the PGA Championship at Bethpage on Long Island last weekend.
Play was suspended at 11:29 a.m. and didn't restart until 2:44 p.m.
The 54-year-old Parel, who teed off at 8:50 a.m., was even par through the first three holes before holing a putt for eagle on the 570-yard No. 4. He posted just one bogey, which came on No. 7.
Parel said he benefited from the lack of wind in the morning, and also got a boost once play resumed with the wind at his back on the 477-yard, par-4 closing hole, which he birdied. He felt bad for those who were still on the course.
"From the way the wind's blowing now, 100 percent yet, the guys this afternoon are going to have a much harder time," Parel said. "Luckily, I took advantage of being on the good end of the wave in good conditions."
Parel didn't take up professional golf until his 30s, and in his third full season on the senior tour.
He joked about benefiting from this being his first time playing at Oak Hill, unlike many others who have competed at previous majors the course has hosted.
"Maybe I don't have the scars from this golf course that a lot of other guys have," Parel said.
Dawson, whose group teed off at 2:25 p.m., expressed relief in shooting 3 under given the conditions.
"Very happy with the round. I wasn't expecting it. I thought it was going to be a tough day," said
Dawson, the 2015 British Senior Open winner. "Two-over-par was probably a good score with this wind."
Tanigawa got off to the day's best start. He was 3 under through nine and then birdied Nos. 10 and 13 in getting to 5 under before bogeying each of the next two holes.
"That's not really how I envisioned my first bogey," he said, referring to a three-putt on the 323-yard, par-4 14th hole. "I thought I might hit it in the rough and have to chop out to make a routine bogey."
The 51-year-old joined the PGA TOUR Champions last year, and after he walked away from professional golf after an unsuccessful year on the then-Nationwide Tour in 2003. Tanigawa counts one senior victory, the PURE Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach, California, last year.
He grew up in southern California, and was teammates with PGA Tour regulars Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe at UCLA, and spent 11 years playing professionally in Australia, Asia and Japan.
PGA TOUR Champions media compiled the below information
Scott Parel, 34-32 – 66 (-4)
- Parel birdied Nos. 17 and 18, the seventh- and fifth-toughest holes on Thursday, to post a 4-under 66. Only 15 birdies were made on No. 17 and nine birdies were made on No. 18, and Parel was one of two players (Shaun Micheel) to play those holes 2-under.
- Parel’s eagle on the par-5 fourth hole was the only eagle on Thursday.
- His 66 is a career-low first-round score in a major.
- He has three top-10s in 13 senior majors (best: T2/2017 Regions Tradition) and his best finish in three starts at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship was a tie for seventh in 2016.
- This is the fourth time he has been a first-round leader/co-leader, and the first time in a major.
- This is the second time he has led/co-led after a round in a major. He opened with rounds of 67-66 and led by one after 36 holes at the 2018 Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship; he went on to finish T6.
- This season, Parel has two runner-up finishes and is No. 8 in the Charles Schwab Cup.
- In 2016, Parel Monday qualified eight times and finished 46th in the Charles Schwab Cup. At PGA TOUR Champions Q-School in December 2016, he was co-medalist and became fully exempt for the 2017 season. He tallied six top-10s and finished 21st in the final Charles Schwab Cup standings in 2017, and last year he won twice en route to a third-place finish in the final standings.
- Three players in the afternoon wave (75.793 average) carded under-par rounds: Marco Dawson (T2/-3), Corey Pavin (T8/-1) and Gibby Gilbert III (T8/-1). The 12 other under-par rounds came from the morning wave (73.051).
- Of the 476 rounds at the 2008 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, there were only 12 rounds under par and 26 rounds of par or better. Jay Haas was the first-round leader after shooting a 1-under 69, his only under-par round of the week.
Retief Goosen, 33-34 – 67 (-3)
- After birdies on Nos. 2-4, Goosen was even-par over his last 14 holes and posted a 3-under 67.
- In Goosen’s only other start at Oak Hill, he carded rounds of 77-74 and missed the cut at the 2003 PGA Championship.
- Goosen is making his eighth start on PGA TOUR Champions since turning 50 on February 3.
- After a T6 finish in his second start on Tour at the Chubb Classic, Goosen broke his right ring finger during the second round of the Cologuard Classic and was forced to withdraw. He missed the next seven weeks, and since returning he has three top-25 finishes in four starts. He is currently No. 40 in the Charles Schwab Cup.
Marco Dawson, 32-35 – 67 (-3)
- Dawson recorded the day’s only bogey-free round, a 3-under 67, and one of just three under-par scores in the afternoon wave. He closed with 11 straight pars after birdies on Nos. 2, 4 and 7.
- He hit 16 of 18 GIR, tied with Ken Tanigawa for best in the field. On the season, Dawson is No. 13 in that category (71.78%).
- Dawson won the 2015 Senior Open Championship at Sunningdale, defeating Bernhard Langer by one with a 16-under total. That victory was his second and most recent win on PGA TOUR Champions.
- He has four top-10s this season (best: 2nd/Oasis Championship) and is 10th in the Charles Schwab Cup.
Ken Tanigawa, 32-35 – 67 (-3)
- Tanigawa was bogey free and 5-under through 13 holes. His first bogey was a three-putt on No. 14, and on the par-3 15th he made bogey after missing the green. He finished with three pars to post a 3-under 67.
- He hit 16 of 18 GIR, tied with Marco Dawson for best in the field. On the season, Tanigawa is No. 8 in that category (72.82%).
- Tanigawa’s best finish in four senior majors is a T20 at the 2018 Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship.
- He has two top-10s this season (best: T7/Insperity Invitational) and is No. 22 in the Charles Schwab Cup.
- Tanigawa won the Arizona Amateur in 2015 and 2017, and he was runner-up in 2016. He competed in the 2017 PGA TOUR Champions Q-School as an amateur and he finished T4 to earn his card for the 2018 season. He won the 2018 PURE Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach to retain his card for 2019, and he was named 2018 PGA TOUR Champions Rookie of the Year.
- Defending champion Paul Broadhurst is T16 after an even-par 70. He’s looking to become the seventh player to win back-to-back titles and first since Colin Montgomerie won in 2014-2015.
- Playing in his first KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship since his win in 2017, Bernhard Langer opened with a 2-over 72. He is T42 alongside Charles Schwab Cup leader Scott McCarron.
- Coming off his first major victory at the Regions Tradition, Steve Stricker is T95 after a 76. It is his third major in three weeks, as the 2020 U.S. Ryder Cup Captain shot 73-72 and missed the cut at last week’s PGA Championship.
- Rochester native Jeff Sluman carded a 4-over 74 and is T70.
- Shaun Micheel, winner of the 2003 PGA Championship at Oak Hill, carded a first-round 74 and is T70.
- Jay Haas, winner of the 2008 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Oak Hill, shot 74 and is T70.
This week’s winner will receive a lifetime exemption into the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship and exemptions into the 2020 PGA Championship, 2019 Senior Open Championship and 2019 U.S. Senior Open.