Panama City, Panama (SportsNetwork.com) - Scott Parel carded a 5-under 65 on Thursday and he grabbed a 1-stroke lead after one round of the season-opening Panama Claro Championship.
Parel, the 2013 Air Capital Classic winner, has played the weekend at this event the last three years, but his best finish was a tie for 39th in 2013.
Jeff Gove, a three-time Web.com Tour winner, is one stroke off the lead at minus-4 at Club de Golf de Panama.
Mathew Goggin opened with a 3-under 67. He was joined in third place by Peter Tomasulo, Hao Tong Li, Harold Varner III and T.J. Vogel.
Joel Dahmen and Shane Bertsch are among 15 players tied for eighth at minus-2.
Parel and Gove both started on the first tee in the morning wave. Parel birdied the first and followed with a pair of pars. He converted back-to-back birdie efforts at four and five to move to 3-under.
The 49-year-old ran off eight consecutive pars from the sixth. Parel moved to minus-4 with a birdie at the 14th. He rolled in his fifth birdie of the day at the 17th and capped a bogey-free round with a par at the last.
"I couldn't ask for much more than that. Out here, you know that if you can shoot under par, you're going to be right there," said Parel, who didn't turn pro until he was 31-years-old. "I hit a lot of good shots and a couple of not- so-good ones that I got good breaks on, which you have to do to go around here with any bogeys."
Gove was in the first group out and he ran off eight straight pars to start his round. He got on the board with a birdie at the ninth, and he made it two in a row as he also birdied No. 10.
The 2005 Oregon Classic winner cruised to six consecutive pars from the 11th. Gove birdied the par-3 17th and followed with another birdie at the last to post 4-under.
"It was pretty steady. I was a little frustrated that I didn't get off to a better start because we were out there without any wind. Par is a good score out here and you don't feel like you're losing ground," Gove said.
NOTES: Parel, Gove and Troy Matteson had the only three bogey-free rounds on Thursday ... Gove hit the first tee shot of the season for the tour ... Oliver Goss had a hole-in-one on the par-3 13th ... James Nitties withdrew before his round and was not replaced in the field.