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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Winning on Kerr's mind this week and beyond

By Randall MellMarch 24, 2018, 2:11 am

Cristie Kerr moved into position Friday to do more than win the 21st LPGA title of her career.

She moved into position to claim an LPGA Hall of Fame point this week.

Yes, winning is foremost on her mind at the Kia Classic, where she took the lead with an 8-under-par 64 in the second round, she’s on a larger quest, too.

After turning 40 last fall, Kerr was asked what her goals are.

“The Hall of Fame is attainable, if I stick with it,” she said.

Kerr is five shots ahead of Lizette Salas (67), In-Kyung Kim (69), Hee Young Park (70) and Caroline Hedwall (70).

It’s a good time for Kerr to get on a hot streak, with the year’s first major championship, the ANA Inspiration, next week. She has long been one of the best putters in the women’s game, but her ball-striking is impressive this week. She hit 17 greens in regulation Thursday, and she hit 16 on Friday.

“I like winning,” Kerr said. “I like challenging myself. Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older, with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, `Man, why does my hamstring hurt?’ From working around this hilly golf course.”

Kerr acknowledged Friday that her body is more vulnerable to time’s realities, but her mind isn’t.

Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

“The golf ball doesn't know an age,” Kerr said. “I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.”

Kerr won two weeks after her 40th birthday last fall, boosting her LPGA Hall of Fame point total to 22. She is five points short of eligibility for induction. A player earns one point for an LPGA victory and two points for a major championship title. So there’s a lot of Hall of Fame ground to gain this week and next.

It’s a long-term goal that motivates Kerr to take care of her body.

“I don't think the golf changes,” Kerr said. “I think, physically, it gets harder as you get older. Like I said, I've got tape on my hamstring. I strained it, just a little bit yesterday, walking around this golf course. It's tough as you get older, just being fresh and rested. I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.”

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Big names chasing Kerr into the weekend at Kia Classic

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 1:55 am

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Cristie Kerr shot an 8-under 64 on Friday in the Kia Classic to take a five-stroke lead into the weekend.

The 40-year-old Kerr had eight birdies in her second straight bogey-free round to reach 13-under 131 at rain-softened Aviara.

''I like winning. I like challenging myself,'' Kerr said. ''Definitely doesn't get any easier as you get older with the travel and recovery time. I got up this morning and I'm like, 'Man, why does my hamstring hurt?' From working around this hilly golf course. The golf ball doesn't know an age. I've always said that. As long as I stay hungry, going to just keep playing.''

She has 20 LPGA victories, winning at Aviara in 2015. She won twice last year and helped the U.S. beat Europe in her ninth Solheim Cup appearance.

''It's tough as you get older just being fresh and rested,'' Kerr said. ''I put more focus into that as I've gotten older. I still practice, but off the course I try to get more rest.''

Lizette Salas, In-Kyung Kim, Hee Young Park and Caroline Hedwall were tied for second. Salas shot 67, Kim 69, and Park and Hedwall 70.

''I really like this golf course. I really like the environment,'' said Salas, the former University of Southern California player from Azusa. ''My family gets to come out. So much confidence at the beginning of the week, and definitely showed the first two days.

Jeong Eun Lee was 7 under after a 69, and defending ANA champion So Yeon Ryu had a 70 to get to 6 under.

Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

Ariya Jutanugarn (72), Brooke Henderson (70) and 2016 winner Lydia Ko (71) were 5 under. Shanshan Feng (68) was another stroke back, and Singapore winner Michelle Wie (72) was 1 under.

Lexi Thompson was 2 over after a 74, making the cut on the number in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week at Mission Hills.

Kerr opened with birdies on the par-5 10th and par-3 11th, added birdies on the par-4 16th, 18th and second, and ran off three in a row on the par-3 sixth, par-4 seventh and par-5 eighth.

''I don't think you can fall asleep on one shot,'' Kerr said. ''It's a really good golf course. I think I play better on courses that demand the focus, so I think that's why I've played well here in the past. ... I'm trying not to put limits on myself right now. I've got some good things going on with my swing.''

She has long been one best putters and green-readers in the world.

''I can see the subtleties that a lot of people can't,'' Kerr said. ''It's a gift from God being able to do that. I've always had that, so I'm lucky.''

Laura Davies withdrew after an opening 82. The 54-year-old Davies tied for second last week in the Founders Cup in Phoenix, playing through painful left Achilles and calf problems.

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DJ hits 489-yard drive, but it doesn't count for history

By Rex HoggardMarch 24, 2018, 12:22 am

AUSTIN, Texas – Dustin Johnson is no stranger to big drives, but even for DJ this one was impressive.

Trailing in his Day 3 match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Johnson launched a drive at the par-5 12th hole that traveled 489 yards, but that number comes with an asterisk.

“He got lucky it hit the road,” smiled Kevin Kisner, who was leading the world No. 1, 3 up, at the time. “I thought he would make an eagle for sure, he only had 80 yards [to the hole]. He didn’t hit a very good putt.”

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

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Johnson’s drive, which was 139 yards past Kisner’s tee shot, is the longest recorded on the PGA Tour in the ShotLink era, surpassing Davis Love III’s drive of 476 yards in 2004 at the Tournament of Champions.

The drive will not go into the record books, however, because the Tour doesn’t count statistics from the Match Play.

It should also be noted, Kisner halved the 12th hole with a birdie and won the match, 4 and 3, to advance to the round of 16.

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Durant leads Champions event in Mississippi

By Associated PressMarch 24, 2018, 12:21 am

BILOXI, Miss. - Joe Durant had three straight birdies in a back-nine burst and a shot 6-under 66 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' Rapiscan Systems Classic.

Durant birdied the par-4 11th and 12th and par-5 13th in the bogey-free round at breezy and rain-softened Fallen Oak. Because of the wet conditions, players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairway.

''It just sets up nice to my eye,'' Durant said. ''It's a beautiful golf course and it's very challenging. The tee shots seem to set up well for me, but the greens are maybe as quick as I've ever seen them here. You really have to put the ball in the right spots. I played very nice today. With the wind swirling like it was, I'm really happy.''

He won the Chubb Classic last month in Naples, Florida, for his third victory on the 50-and-over tour.

Full-field scores from the Rapiscan Systems Classic

''Done this long enough, Friday's just one day,'' Durant said. ''Especially in a three-day tournament, you've got to go out and shoot three good numbers. Fortunate to put one on the board, but I know I have to back it up with a couple of good days because you can get passed very quickly out here.''

Mark Calcavecchia was a stroke back. He won last month in Boca Raton, Florida

''It's probably my best round I've ever had here and it was a tough day to play,'' Calcavecchia said. ''The greens are just lightning fast. They're pretty slopey greens, so very difficult to putt.''

Steve Stricker was third at 68. He took the Tucson, Arizona, event three weeks ago for his first senior victory.

''Just getting it around and managing my game I think like I always do,'' Stricker said. ''You get in the wrong position here with the greens being so fast and you're going to be in trouble. I did that a couple times today.''

Billy Mayfair, Billy Andrade and David McKenzie shot 69. Jerry Kelly, the winner of the season-opening event in Hawaii, was at 70 with Wes Short Jr., Glen Day, Gene Sauers and Jesper Parnevik.

Bernhard Langer opened with a 71, and two-time defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez had a 72.

Vijay Singh, coming off his first senior victory two weeks ago in Newport Beach, California, had a 73.