Cinderella Story: Parel With Legit Shot At $1 Million Schwab Cup

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If he doesn’t win the Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix this week, Scott Parel will need some help from Bernhard Langer and others to claim the $1 million prize. Still it’s been a while since the PGA Tour Champions has seen someone who played so little PGA Tour golf (five starts at age 38) turn into a leader money winner and potential Schwab Cup champ.

Eamon Lynch of Golfweek with Parel’s surprise rise from the Monday qualifying ranks, including this:

Parel didn’t even join the paid ranks until he was 31 years old, after a decade in the IT industry. He made just five career starts on the PGA Tour, and it wasn’t until 2003, when he was 38, that he secured Tour status. He made 18 starts that year and earned $3,344. His lone win came in 2013. By then he was 48 and turning his attention to the over-50s circuit.

With no playing privileges, Parel had to rely on Monday qualifiers, a system that offers odds only slightly better than a Mega Millions lottery drawing. He made it through eight times that first season but remained realistic.