Before Scott Parel, there was Larry Laoretti and Tom Wargo and Walt Zembriski among others, men who found a second golf life after turning 50, giving breath to the long-shot dream that tapping into the PGA Tour Champions isn’t solely the domain of the formerly famous.
Like the aforementioned journeymen who found a post-50 fortune playing in the sunshine against many of the game’s legends, Parel is living proof that self-belief, a timely nudge and a reliable putting stroke can be transformative.
Parel, 54, took the road less traveled on his way to Newport Beach, Calif., where he is playing in the Hoag Classic this week, sitting third on this season's Charles Schwab Cup money list after winning the Chubb Classic last month.
He didn’t play the PGA Tour when he left the University of Georgia more than 30 years ago. Parel became a computer programmer and data administrator, a career path that doesn’t leave much time for golf except on weekends and summer afternoons. Parel lived the cubicle life.
Parel and his wife, Mary, moved ...
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