Local golf: Augusta’s Scott Parel tunes up for Mitsubishi with fourth career win

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Augusta’s Scott Parel warmed up for next week’s Mitsubishi Electric Classic in Duluth by winning his fourth PGA Tour Champions event, the ClubCorp Classic in Texas.

Parel made a birdie on the final hole to shoot 65 on Sunday, then took the playoff on the same hole with a par after Steven Alker and Gene Sauers went into the hazard and could not recover.

Parel had been 0-3 in playoffs. One of those playoff losses came to Steve Flesch in the 2018 Mitsubishi Electric Classic.

“I was fortunate both the guys didn’t hit the best second shots,” Parel said. “I was just trying to get it up and down, which in the end turned out to be the right play.”

Parel was almost as excited to play with former Braves John Smoltz, Greg Maddux and Brian McCann during the competition. The format featured 50 celebrities who played along with the professionals.

“It was a dream week for me,” Parel said. “I got to play with three Braves, three of my heroes when I was watching the Braves play. … If anything, it kind of made you a little more at ease because these guys are – none of them are taking it too serious. They’re all good players. They knew what was going on. If they thought they were in the way, they got out of the way. It was a fantastic week.”

Parel, a University of Georgia graduate, now has three top-five finishes on PGA Tour Champions this season. He now has four career wins and $7 million in career earnings.

The Mitsubishi Electric Classic is scheduled May 6-8 at TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth. The defending champion is Dicky Pride. The field includes each previous winner of the event, including Bernhard Langer, Angel Miguel Jimenez and Scott McCarron, as well as Hall of Famers Ernie Els and Jim Furyk.

Credit: Georgia State Golf

Credit: Georgia State Golf

Franco Castro, Tyler Gruca capture 50th Georgia Four-Ball title

The Atlanta team of Franco Castro and Tyler Gruca teamed up to shoot 25-under 191 and win the 50th Georgia Four-Ball Championship at Cartersville Country Club.

Castro, who played at Charlotte and LSU, and Gruca, who played at Georgia State, opened with a 65 and trailed leaders Dalton Melnyk and Tyler McKeever of Atlanta by three. They followed with two rounds of 63 – counting only one bogey during that 36-hole span – and won by four shots. Castro shot 67 on his own ball in the final round.

Tied for third at 21-under 195 were Erik Martin of Alpharetta and Stephen Behr of Atlanta, Chad Branton of Cartersville and Christian Raynor of Kennesaw, and Price Miller and William Love of Atlanta. Melnyk and McKeever finished sixth.

Oglethorpe runs away with SAA title

The Oglethorpe men’s team tuned up for the NCAA Division III tournament by steamrolling the field at the Southern Athletic Association championship at Chateau Elan in Braselton. Coach Jim Owen’s team shot 7-over 883 and finished 21 shots ahead of Berry.

The Stormy Petrels had three players tie for second as individuals at 4-over 223: Sam Karman, Beck Lewis and Tripp Murphy. Connor Murphy and Isley McClure tied for fifth at 6 over, and Michael O’Sullivan tied for 12th.

Berry’s Blake Farbman shot a 2-over 221 to win medalist honors.

The SAA recognized Owen as coach of the year, and Karman, Lewis, McClure and Connor Murphy were named All-SAA first team. Tripp Murphy and O’Sullivan were named second team.

Jackson Klutznick helps Emory win its invitational

Emory had no trouble winning the Emory Invitational at Cherokee Run Golf Course in Conyers. The No. 2-ranked Eagles shot an 863 to win by 25 strokes over No. 4 Babson and No. 16 Washington and Lee.

Jackson Klutznick earned his second victory of the season, and his score of 8-under 208 is tied for the second-best three-round score in program history. His final-round 66 is tied for third-best all time.

Max Schwarz was third with a 2-under 214. Freshman Tony Li and senior Davis Hingtgen tied for 10th.

Emory will play again at the NCAA Division III Championships from May 10-13.

Six advance in local U.S. Open qualifier

Greg Edwards, the assistant golf professional at East Lake, was among six Georgians who advanced out of the state’s first local qualifier for the U.S. Open at Marietta Country Club. Edwards shot 5-under 65, one shot behind medalist Brett White of Houston, a Korn Ferry Tour player.

Other Georgians to advance were Ryan Elmore of Dunwoody, Will Chandler of Atlanta, Finlay Mason of Atlanta, Jonathan Keppler of Marietta and Keith Guest of Athens. Brad Harden of Woodstock and Andy Mao of Johns Creek were first and second alternates.

Kennesaw’s Alizee Vidal medals at ASUN tournament

Kennesaw State junior Alizee Vidal shot a 5-under 211 to win the ASUN Championship at Kinderlou Forest in Valdosta and help the Owls finish second overall. Vidal closed with a 68 and bested teammate Bella Kil by two shots.

The Kennesaw State men saw their season end when they finished ninth in the ASUN Championship at the University of Georgia Course in Athens.

Paul Claxton comes up short in bid for PGA spot

Paul Claxton finished tied for 28th at the PGA Professional Championship at Barton Creek Resort in Austin, Texas. The PGA Life member missed earning a spot in the PGA Championship by two strokes. The former PGA Tour player and Claxton resident was inside the top 20 going into the final round, but slipped to a 76 and finished at 2-over 285.

Chris Boyle of the Sea Island Golf Club also made the cut and finished tied for 74th at 298. The top 75 players made the cut, which fell at 5 over.