THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS (AP) — Scott McCarron won the Insperity Invitational on Sunday for his 10th PGA TOUR Champions victory and second in three weeks.
The 53-year-old McCarron held off Scott Parel by two strokes, closing with a 5-under 67 to finish at 17-under 199 and match Fred Couples (2010) for the best score since the event moved to The Woodlands Country Club in 2008.
Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer also each won 10 times on the 50-and-older TOUR.
“Jack Nicklaus told me two years ago that he loved the PGA TOUR Champions and he wished he would have played more because it was so much fun and because there is an end in sight, and once you’re done, you’re done,” McCarron said. “Coming out here and not being able to play anymore, that’s no fun. So I really took that to heart.”
McCarron won the Mitsubishi Electric Classic two weeks ago in Georgia, then teamed with Brandt Jobe to tie for fifth last week in Missouri in the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf .
“We’ve had just terrible weather both times. I guess I’m kind of a mudder,” said McCarron, the former UCLA player who won three times on the PGA TOUR. “It seems a lot of my wins are when the weather’s really bad.”
Parel shot a 66. The two-time TOUR winner also finished second last month in Mississippi, losing to Kevin Sutherland on the seventh hole of a playoff.
After Parel birdied the par-5 15th to pull within a stroke, McCarron hit a 6-iron to a foot for birdie on the par-3 16th to push the advantage back to two shots. Parel missed a chance to pull within one on the par-4 17th when his 3-foot birdie putt caught the left edge and lipped out.
“I thought it was a straight putt and 5 inches from the hole it was straight in the middle of the hole and then out of nowhere it goes to the left.” Parel said. “Nobody in our group saw that coming. It’s just one of those things.”
Both players parred the par-4 18th, with Parel forced to scramble after driving well left off a cart path and nearly into a garbage basket.
“Scott Parel was playing some good golf, he was pushing me along,” McCarron said. “He was making birdies, didn’t make many mistakes, so I had to keep the pedal down.”
Parel birdied the par-4 11th and 12th to tie for the lead at 14 under. McCarron countered with birdies on the par-5 13th and par-3 14th.
“The par 3s were the key,” Parel said. “He hit two fabulous shots, almost makes the one on 16 and hit a great shot on 14, and I’m struggling to make par. I think that was kind of what it came down to today. Overall, I played good. I think I put a little pressure on him and he certainly was up to the challenge.”
McCarron took a three-stroke lead into the final round, overcoming a stiff neck to shoot 67-65 in a 34 1/2-hole Saturday after most of the play Friday was wiped out because of lightning and heavy rain.
“You’ve got to be very patient. You’ve got to conserve your energy,” McCarron said. “When we have rain delays like that, try to find a quiet corner and get some rest because you never know how long you’re going to go.”
McCarron earned $330,000 and increased his lead in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup standings.
“I’m not done yet,” McCarron said. “I want to win a lot more and I want to win the Schwab Cup. That was my goal at the start of this year, which has been the goal the start of the last few years. We’re trying to get that done and today helps.”
Lee Janzen was third at 12 under after a 67. Marco Dawson (68) and Paul Goydos (70) were 11 under.