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Scott Parel grabs 1-stroke lead at Constellation Senior Players Championship

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — Scott Parel walked off the course considering any individual would overtake him. Instead, he is midway to his first PGA Tour Champions victory — and it occurs to be a serious.

Parel grabbed a one-stroke lead within the Constellation Senior Players Championship, taking pictures a 6-under 66 in Friday’s second spherical to achieve 11 beneath.

The 53-year-old Parel made seven birdies after beginning the day two pictures off the lead.

“I’ve been playing good golf, right there in contention a lot of times,” he mentioned. “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 within the lead when Jeff Maggert three-putted from about 15 ft to bogey the par-Four 18th. That left Maggert (68) tied with Brandt Jobe (67) at 10 beneath within the fourth of 5 majors on the tour’s schedule.

Three-time champion Bernhard Langer (67), defending champion Scott McCarron (68), Kenny Perry (70) and Vijay Singh (67) have been in a pack two strokes off the lead. Illinois coach Mike Small shot 71 and was three pictures again.

This is simply the second time Parel has led after a spherical in a PGA Tour Champions occasion. He shared the first-round lead at the 2017 Chubb Classic earlier than ending tied for 10th.

Parel didn’t play in school at Georgia, and labored in computer systems for 10 years earlier than turning professional. He missed the reduce in 4 of his 5 profession PGA Tour begins. On the over-50 tour, he has 13 top-10 finishes in 52 begins. That contains ties for second at the Mitsubishi Electric Classic close to Atlanta in April and Principal Charity Classic in Des Moines, Iowa, final month.

Parel pulled forward regardless that he was a bit off track together with his driver. He completed 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 mentioned. “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.”

Maggert holed out from a greenside bunker to birdie the par-5 15th and attain 11 beneath. But he completed the spherical on a bitter notice, with that bogey on 18 after he gave himself an opportunity to birdie the outlet.

“Trying to leave it below the hole there is a premium, and I just got a little too far above, and the putt trickled by a little bit,” he mentioned. “The greens were a little bouncier and choppier this afternoon late in the day with all the traffic from the morning rounds. Anyway, putting feels pretty good, so I’m not worried about it.”

McCarron bogeyed three holes, together with the 18th. In the Senior Players at Caves Valley close to Baltimore final yr, he overcame a six-shot deficit to beat Langer and Jobe by a stroke.

McCarron is dealing with surgical procedure at the top of the season to restore a tendon working by means of his proper ankle. It’s been bothering him for a few yr and a half, although he mentioned it hasn’t impacted his sport.

He got here into this occasion with seven top-10 finishes on the season and a victory final month at the American Family Insurance Championship in Madison, Wisconsin. McCarron then tied for 52nd at the U.S. Senior Open in Colorado Springs.

“I’m playing decent,” McCarron mentioned. “Just made a few too many mistakes today, especially the last hole. But I’m hitting a lot of good shots, and I’m putting pretty well. I like this golf course, so I’m certainly in the mix going into the weekend, which is where you’ve got to be. I mean, you can’t go out and win the tournament the first two days, but I’ve certainly put myself in a good position.”

The 52-year-old Small has by no means gained on the PGA Tour Champions. He is just not a tour member and made the sphere as a result of he carried out effectively over three occasions the place he acquired sponsors’ exemptions. He started the day tied with Perry for the lead and stays in competition.

“I’m happy,” he mentioned. “I had more hard putts today. Yesterday, I hit it in spots where you can make putts, and these greens are very difficult from that point of view. If you hit it in the correct spots, you can make putts here all day long. But if you just get a foot or two on the other side of that, they’re hard to read and they’re fast and you’re playing defensively.”

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