Parry heads champions list for Holden NZ Open
BY iseekgolf.com | Australasian PGA Tour | 2005 New Zealand Open | General | 22 Jan 2005
One of Australia’s all-time best golfers Craig Parry will play in next month’s Holden New Zealand Open.
The 2002 winner is one of nine former champions to contest for the 88th Open at Gulf Harbour Country Club, north of Auckland from 10-13 February, when the Australasian PGA Tour component of the field was finalised today. He joins defending champion Terry Price and fellow Australians Peter Fowler (1993), Craig Jones (1994) Peter O’Malley and Lucas Parsons (both 1995) along with Kiwis Michael Campbell (2000), David Smail (2001) and Mahal Pearce (2003) for the $1.5 million co-sanction event with the Australasian and European Tours.
The popular 39-year-old Australian has made a penchant for winning Open championships around the world. In addition to his New Zealand Open victory at Paraparaumu Beach in 2002, he has also won the Open Championships of Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Germany, Canada, Italy and Scotland. Parry has won 19 times around the globe including two victories on the US PGA Tour at the NEC Invitational in 2002 and his spectacular win last year at the Ford Championship at Doral.
Parry bagged one of the golfing highlights of last year when he made a brilliant eagle at the par-4 18th in the first extra hole against American Scott Verplank to cement his win. The Australian knocked in his 6-iron from 170m for the win, made even more remarkable when he nearly missed his tee-time on the opening day, sleeping through an alarm and waking up only 15 minutes before his scheduled start.
In addition to Parry, the Australasian Tour players announced today include winners of nine events on major Tours in 2004. They are headed by defending champion Price and 2004 MasterCard Masters and Australasian Tour Order of Merit winner Richard Green. Smail leads a group of successful winners on the Japan Tour along with Australians Paul Sheehan (2 wins) and Steve Conran. Brett Rumford won the Irish Open on the European Tour and Aussie Terry Pilkadaris enjoyed his most successful year on the Asian Tour picking up two victories.
The top world-ranked player is talented Australian lefthander Nick O’Hern, while the field also includes evergreen Wayne Grady, Jarrod Moseley and Peter Senior who won the 2002 and 2003 Australian PGA Championships respectively and swashbuckling American Ricky Barnes.
There are a number of other talented Australians in the field including Greg Chalmers, Scott Laycock and Matthew Goggin, who have all enjoyed success in the United States and Japan in recent years. The 2004 NZ Amateur Champion Gavin Flint will also play alongside 2002 winner and fellow Australian Marcus Fraser who has already tasted success on the European Tour. World Junior Champion Jason Day who also won the NZ and Australian junior titles will also be a player to watch.
“The Australasian PGA Tour field is exceptionally strong with a good mix of experienced performers and some of the younger in-form stars around the world,” joint Tournament Director Gus Seebeck said.
“It’s a real coup for the event to have Craig Parry agree to play. Attracting a player of Parry’s stature in the game is great for the status of the tournament, and he will be a wonderful ambassador for us going forward.”
“We’ve got a fantastic array of former champions. The field from Australasia is very exciting. I know they will want to be in top form and ensure the Holden New Zealand Open title remains at this end of the world against some of the top European players.”
The European Tour field will be finalised next weekend.
Source – NZGA
Photo – Anthony Powter/Snaperture Sports