Golf

Air Cap notes: Former champ Scott Parel happy to be back

Scott Parel reads the green on No. 16 during the final round of the 2013 Air Capital Classic at Crestview Country Club.
Scott Parel reads the green on No. 16 during the final round of the 2013 Air Capital Classic at Crestview Country Club. Kelly Glasscock

If you could come back and play at the site of your one tour victory, wouldn’t you?

Scott Parel can, and he will. The PGA Tour Champions golfer, who won the 2013 Air Capital Classic, will be in the 156-player field when the Web.com Tour event begins Thursday at Crestview Country Club.

Parel was 48 when he fired a final-round 64 to become the tournament’s oldest champion. Now 52 and a Champions regular, Parel is taking advantage of an off week on that tour to make his 11th Air Capital appearance.

“When I looked at how the schedule was set, I committed right away,” said Parel, who can play as a past champion of the event for five years. “There was really no reason not to.”

Despite never earning a PGA Tour card, Parel has had a promising start playing with the 50-and-older set. He jump-started his 2016 rookie season by earning spots in six consecutive tournaments through Monday qualifiers and tied for seventh at the Senior PGA Championship.

“That gives you a lot of confidence because you’re playing under the gun every time you go out on a Monday,” said Parel, who is 18th in the Champions’ Schwab Cup standings. “You’ve got to shoot 4 or 5 under or you’re not getting to play.”

Parel earned fully-exempt status this season by sharing medalist honors with Phillip Price at Champions Q-school in December. His best finish this season came in the Regions Tradition – the first senior major – when he tied for second behind Bernhard Langer.

Parel credited friendships with Lee Janzen and Joe Durant, and the warm reception from other golfers, for his smooth transition to the Champions.

“It’s awesome out there,” Parel said. “I don’t feel like I’m an outsider, even though those guys are PGA Tour champions. They’ve all won on the PGA Tour, most of them, and I’ve won out here one time.”

A chance for Hossler – Texas All-American Beau Hossler has been looking for the spark to his professional career. The next opportunity comes Thursday at Crestview.

Hossler, a three-time U.S. Open qualifier, made it through Monday qualifying at Auburn Hills and will make his second Web.com start of the season at 2 p.m.

“I’m just trying to play where I can,” said the 22-year-old Hossler. “I didn’t get to go to Q-school last year, so I didn’t have any status.”

Hossler won five times as a junior at Texas, but a torn left labrum ended his run at the 2016 NCAA Championship. Hossler went five months without playing, then turned pro and won his first start on the Adams Pro Tour in December.

Hossler, who said the shoulder has healed “100 percent,” received sponsor exemptions into seven PGA Tour events this spring, making three cuts. His best finish was a tie for 39th at the Shell Houston Open.

Hossler also received an invitation to play in the Web.com’s Panama Claro Championship, and led after the first round before tying for 30th.

“You’ve got to start somewhere and coming back from an injury like I was, it takes a little while to get your momentum back,” Hossler said. “You’re away from competition for so long and then you’re kind of starting from scratch.”

Hossler shot a 3-under-par 69 in his first Web.com Monday qualifier and hopes he can build on his second start of the season on the developmental circuit.

“I’m feeling really good,” Hossler said. “I feel like I’m starting to get my game back and I’m optimistic for the rest of the year.”

Etc. – Shaun Micheel, who won the 2003 PGA Championship, is in the field. He played in the 1996 tournament at Reflection Ridge and in 1999 at Willowbend. ... Four-time PGA Tour winner Robert Allenby heads the list of 15 players who have won at that level. … Crestview’s North course will play to par 70 for the fourth consecutive year. The par-5 sixth and 18th holes will play as par 4s.

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