Scott Parel Living The Dream, Finally

Scott Parel is a throwback to the early charm of the senior circuit, when guys who had spent a career in golf’s obscure precincts – a Dana Quigley, a Mark Johnson – could author improbable Cinderella stories amid the seasoned winners collecting their reliable annuities.

That contrast in accomplishments will again be apparent this week when the PGA Tour Champions wraps its season with the Charles Schwab Cup Championship at Phoenix Country Club. Parel goes to Arizona second in the season-long standings, trailing only a man with more than 100 professional wins and north of $40 million in career earnings.

Bernhard Langer’s two biggest victories came at Augusta National. Parel lives a couple of miles from the famed club, but his one-way road in professional golf ran out of town.

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Is It A Hall of Fame or a Mausoleum?

When the World Golf Hall of Fame announced its “Class of ‘19,” the inclusion of Peggy Kirk Bell illustrated much of what’s wrong with that noble but misbegotten institution.

It’s not that she isn’t worthy of induction. Quite the opposite: She deserved it years ago. Bell lived 95 years, but the Hall waited until two years after her passing to bestow its grace.

Thus can an intended honor seem like a clumsy insult. She deserved better.

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Peggy Kirk Bell, finally a Hall of Famer, two years after her death.

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Fifteen Years Later, Shaun Michael Finally Feels Worthy

This ought to be a week that Shaun Micheel savors, returning to a major championship where he can wrap himself in gauzy memories of his finest achievement. Instead, he approaches the 100th PGA Championship with a familiar gnawing anxiety, conscious that every mention of his “once upon a time” fairytale victory in 2003 brings detractors eager to emphasize the “once.”

“I look forward to getting back, but I have some trepidation about the noise that’s going to start appearing on social media before too long,” he said last weekend.

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Vicente Fernandez’s Run At Senior Open One For the Aged

For much of its 31-year history, the Senior British Open delivered better quality venues than champions. For every Gary Player there was a Bruce Vaughan, for every Tom Watson a Tom Wargo. But even Vaughan won at Royal Troon and Wargo at Royal Lytham.

The tournament has grown in stature since becoming a major on the PGA Tour Champions. The fields are deeper and the faces more recognizable, but this is still an event where old men can chase fading dreams over a celebrated, rumpled links.

When that links is the Old Course in St. Andrews, which hosted the Senior Open for the first time last week, there are plenty more dreamers than the 156 spots in the field can accommodate. Even the old are not immune to the lure of the Old.

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Jodie Mudd: Golf’s Forgotten Man

“Jodie used to have a gorgeous golf swing. He made the game look so simple.”

“I’m not sure anyone was really close to him.”

“Funny how you remember things about someone. He had a huge forward press as he started his swing. Then he just flushed it.”

“He was a quiet man.”

This week is when Mudd makes his annual appearance on Tour, albeit only as a ghostly figure on Players Championship highlight reels. It’s been 28 years since he won and almost that long since he walked away from the game.

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Jodie Mudd.

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Rancor over Anchoring Riles Senior Set

Two years have passed since anchored putting was banned, but the USGA’s wording of the rule is still causing some consternation on the PGA Tour Champions. The two most dominant players in 2017—Bernhard Langer (below) and Scott McCarron—finished 1st and 2nd in Putting Average. Both use a long putter and a controversial method, that rules officials have declared legal. I wrote about the issue for Golfweek. You can read it here.

PowerShares QQQ Championship - Final Round