Rich Parker, the head men’s coach at Dartmouth College, qualified Monday for the Champions Tour’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Open. Parker shot a 5-under 67 at the Links at Hiawatha Landing in Apalachin, N.Y., then had to wait four hours to learn he had secured the fourth and final qualifying spot.
Parker, who will turn 51 in August, shot nines of 32-35 to join qualifiers Jim Rutledge (64), Chien-Soon Lu (66) and R.W. Eaks (66) in the field for the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, which starts Friday at En-Joie Golf Course in Endicott, N.Y.
“I don’t get to play a lot of golf,” Parker told the Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin. “I just wanted to play in one of these tournaments.
“Am I going to be Freddy Couples? Not likely, but I just want to get out and play. I have nothing to lose. I’m going to have a lot of fun.”
Parker, of Lebanon, N.H., was named the head coach at Dartmouth in October 2005. As a pro, he twice won PGA player of the year honors, in Vermont (1997) and New Hampshire (’99), and qualified for the 1990 U.S. Open. He also played on the now-defunct Ben Hogan (’90-’91) and Nike (’94) tours; it is now known as the Nationwide Tour.