Parry wins Australian Open thriller
BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2007 Australian Open | Round Four | 16 Dec 2007
Craig Parry has won the 2007 Australian Open at a golf course where he claimed one of his first professional events twenty years ago.
“I’ve worked hard all my career and this is the one I wanted,” said Parry immediately after signing his card.
Parry’s last round of 69 at the Australian Golf Club today saw him finish one shot ahead of Nick O’Hern, Brandt Snedeker and fellow New South Welshman, Won Joon Lee who threatened a huge upset when he birdied his last two holes to complete a round of 66 and at that stage, more than two hours ahead of the final group, shared the lead with Nick O’Hern.
Parry emerged as a serious threat to those ahead on the leaderboard when he birdied the 10th to move to 9 under and then added another at the 13th and 14th to move one ahead of Lee. The 41-year-old safely negotiated the 15th and 16th but appeared to open the door for those behind when he drove it into the deep fairway bunker to the right of the 17th.
He could only advance it 80 yards or so and was left with perhaps a similar distance to the flag for his third shot. His pitch finished 16 feet short but with the first pumping, Parry’s putt found the centre of the hole and he remained one ahead of Lee, Snedeker and O’Hern.
Left with just the second easiest hole on the course on the final day to play, the par five 18th, Parry missed the fairway right and with the lay-up option being a no brainer, he did exactly that and played his third to 12 feet left of the flag. It was a beautifully executed shot, played to what must have been the exact point he was aiming, given his one shot lead. He two putted to lead by one and only James Nitties, who birdied the 17th, could potentially catch him.
Nitties was left of the green with his second and was required to take a drop from close to the grandstands behind the green. He had a chip across the last green of some 25 yards to set up the playoff but it was not to be and he could only manage bogey and finished in a share of fifth.
Parry said after his second round on Friday that a tip from one of Callaway’s equipment men in Japan to level out his shoulders on his backswing was the reason for his improved form in recent weeks. He was also full of praise for the efforts of his nephew Matt Thomas an accomplished young player from Sydney, who read his putts beautifully all week and Richard Flood his coach, who has helped so much with his short game in preparing for this event.
For Parry this completes the trio of Australia’s greatest events having won the Masters, the PGA and now the Open Championship. It was fitting that one of this country’s most accomplished players has added his own national open title to a substantial resume.