Since abandoning his 10-year computer programming career after college to pursue golf, Parel displays the occasional flashes that have kept him going for a decade. Twice a U.S. Open qualifier, he made the cut in his first PGA Tour event at the BellSouth Classic last year.
"After last year I really feel like if I get a chance to play in 24 or 25 events on the Nationwide Tour I could be a top-10 player out there," he said. "There wasn't anything in my play last year that showed me that wasn't the case."
With similar exempt status last season, Parel packed most of his 21 starts last year into the final five months. That wore him down; he missed cuts in his final five starts. Hence he's concentrating on fitness and practice regimen instead of mini-tours this winter.
HOMETOWN: Pontiac, Mich.
HIGH SCHOOL: Aquinas
EXEMPT STATUS: Conditional, 97th on 2006 money list