Parry a Winner Regardless of How He Looks

By George WhiteAugust 27, 2002, 4:00 pm
Lets face it, Craig Parry looks like anything but a professional athlete.
Hes short and - well, rotund. His clothes are functional but hardly stylish. He slaps a cap on his head, any ol cap, and goes out to play. Haberdashers everywhere shrink back in horror, but this is Craig. He looks like he should be slapping paint on the side of a house, but he makes a living rolling a golf ball at a stick. How can you not love the guy?
He finally won a tournament on the PGA Tour after 10 years of trying. Hes won everywhere else around the globe since coming out of Australia to play this game in 1986 - but not in America. When he finally succeeded, he did so in a monstrous way. He won a World Golf Championship event, the NEC, and he won a million bucks in the process.
Of course, it was completely unexpected. Parry has missed his previous four cuts in the U.S., seven of the last nine if youre counting. Its been this way since he moved back to Australia a couple of years ago. The past two years hes finished 95th and 102nd on the money list since trying to commute halfway around the world from Sydney. He still has a home in the same neighborhood where Tiger Woods lives in greater Orlando, but thats about where the similarity ends. He commutes great distances to make a living, and the commutes have taken a big toll on his results.
Craig wasnt in the top 100 in any of the major categories before last week. He was 104th in driving distance, 134th in driving accuracy, 127th in greens-in-regulation, 111th in putting average you get the picture. But he put it all together for one unbelievable week in Seattle.
It will sink in, obviously, in a couple weeks time, he said. But at the moment, Im just very happy to win. A win is a win. I suppose Im a millionaire now.
Parry had to chuckle about the millionaire mention. This isnt Woods we are talking about with the stratospheric amounts of money he has won. This was Craig Parry, who had won a little more than $4.5 million in America during his career. Then he won another million in one week at the WCG-NEC. The shock was almost too much for Parry to bear.
Im going to get blotto, he said, using the Aussie term for getting inebriated. They might have to carry me off the plane. Im sure the Australian customs wont mind.
Robert Allenby, also as Aussie, had to chuckle. The Parry he knows has won 18 times globally, yet is very, uh, conservative with his financial affairs. Forget the fact that his victories throughout the world have made him fairly wealthy. Forget that his boat, in the words of Allenby, is worth a couple of million dollars. When he stops playing golf, he is going to have 50 cents of the first dollar he made.
Allenby recalled a time in Denver when Parry was on the Internet checking hotel rates and noticed that the room he was staying in could be had $10-15 cheaper the following night.
So he checked himself out on the Internet and then rechecked himself back in, said Allenby. Thats Craig Parry to the tee right there. And he even got the same room.
Allenby, of course, was thrilled that Parry won, as he is certain that every player is. Parry is genuinely nice, without a single prima donna bone in his body. Talking with him is like talking over the back fence with your neighbor. You dont care about how many millions he has made ' hes there to greet you warmly every time he sees you.
Hes picked a great tournament to be his first one, Allenby said of the NEC. I think it will show that hes as good as we all know he is. He was the best player not to win on tour. And now hes broken through. And Im a hundred percent sure theres going to be many more.
That may or may not be correct. Parry has determined that he is going to live for good in Australia, to the possible detriment to his golf game but to the benefit of his three children. After all, hes 37 now, and all that travel cant possibly make for an unbroken string of victories. But hes hit the lottery with this win.
Still, theres no sign of change in Craig Parry. He wont go corporate. No sir, not this man. Come rain, come shine, Mister Pieface remains the next-door neighbor that he always was.
You know what? asked Allenby. It doesnt matter how much money Craig Parry has or how much he has or anything, he will always stay the same.
I know the neighborhood where he grew up and, yeah, hes still the same. Hes still the same Pazza (Allenbys nickname for Parry.) And I guarantee you in the next 10 years, hell still be the same, even if hes won five majors of four of these tournaments, hed still be the same. Hes a true Aussie.
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Ortiz takes Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

Former Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Tour Player of the Year.

McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

Memo to the golf gods:

If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.

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Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

"I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

"I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x