It is too soon to conclude that the Bernhard Langer reign has run its course, but so far in 2019 he has left a void that Scott McCarron impressively has filled.
McCarron, 53, won the Insperity Invitational at the Woodlands Country Club in the Woodlands, Texas, on Sunday, his second victory in the last three weeks, with the PGA Tour Champions’ first major on deck, the Regions Tradition.
Momentum is tough to quantify in a sport that has three or four days off between tournament rounds, but McCarron clearly is on a roll that establishes him as the favorite.
“I don’t know about that,” he said. “But it’s a golf course I like there at the Regions. I’ve been in the final group the last couple years. I’ve played well, but haven’t quite got it done.
“I’m just really happy to get this week done. I played really well [Saturday] in the 35½ holes that we played [following Friday’s suspension of play]. And Scott Parel played beautifully today and it was tough to stay in front of him, but I’m very happy with the victory.”
In both victories, McCarron began the final round with a three-stroke lead and withstood all contenders. In this one, he and Parel were tied through 12 holes, then McCarron birdied the 13th and 14th holes. When Parel countered with a birdie at 15, McCarron responded with one at 16.
McCarron shot a final-round five-under par 67 and defeated Parel by two. Parel closed with six-under par 66 and finished runner-up for the second time in his last four starts.
In nine starts this year, McCarron has finished in the top five in six of them. He already has earned $996,868 in 2019. The victory was the 10th of his senior career. He won only three times in 16 years playing the PGA Tour full time.
Five of the next eight senior events are major championships that will test whether McCarron's dominance has staying power. The Regions Tradition and the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship are the next two tournaments on the schedule, and the U.S. Senior Open, the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship and the Senior Open Championship will be played consecutively, though with a week off between them.