Punahou’s Parker McLachlin gains inspiration from fellow tour pro Harris English’s career resurgence


HONOLULU, HAWAII – JANUARY 12: Parker McLachlin of the United States during a practice round prior to the Sony Open in Hawaii at the Waialae Country Club on January 12, 2021 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Hawai’i native Parker McLachlin played in seven PGA Tour events in last year’s wrap around season, missing the cut in all but one. The 41-year-old lone win on Tour was the 2008 Legends Reno-Tahoe Open, but his practice round partner on Tuesday, Harris English, has show a career renaissance is possible.

“We talked about it while we were walking today. He was 380th or so in the world just 2 years ago, now he’s top 20 in the world. He just said he’s been working and that belief in himself. He continued to believe in himself and it’s paying off. He was really emotional about what it meant to him last week,” McLachlin told KHON2 Sports Reporter Alan Hoshida, “The other guy we were playing with, Brendan Todd, same thing. Went from not having any status at all to winning two times in the last 18 months. I feel like taking some good energy from those guys, just goes to show me that these guys have done it. I’m in the same situation and I’m ready to do it.”

Even though a practice round does nothing officially for this week’s Sony Open, McLachlin gained confidence matching shots with last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions winner.

“It’s a good barometer of where my game is. He’s one of the hottest players in the world. Felt good to hit some similar shots as he did and make some birdies. See my game stack up to his.”

The Punahou grad’s best finish at Waialae Country Club is tied 10th in 2008. It’s been well documented about all the jobs he had as a youngster at this week’s venue. It’s definitely a homecoming every year. Unfortunately, no fans are allowed on the course this week due to Covid-19 restrictions, so McLachlin won’t have the usual local galleries of the past.

“I use this tournament sometimes as a way to see people i haven’t seen in a lot of years. They’ll come out and follow. It’s interesting. I get a lot of emotion when people come out following. I think that sometimes it’s a good thing. Other times it’s almost too much emotion. To me it’s nice to have this kind of an odd year where we don’t have fans out there and I can just focus on the golf. I think I’ve been playing some really good golf. so I feel like if I can just focus on the golf and not have the emotion attached to it. I feel like I can have a really good week.”

A good would be a major stepping stone in trying to match English’s path to resurgence. Parker tees off his 1st round with past Sony Open Champions Fabian Gomez on Thursday at 7:30 local time.

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