Craig Parry – a real golfing champion

Did anyone watch Craig Parry win the Australian Open golf yesterday? I did and thought the golf and coverage were excellent. I honestly thought that Craig Parry had retired but when he popped up on Friday with a course record 64, I knew that “Popeye” was back and going to give the tournament a real shake.

I played yesterday morning, and after the game we all put forward our thoughts on who was going to win. Robert Allenby was the favourite, with Nick O’Hern receiving plenty of support. My money was with Parry who I think is the perfect golfer – a golfer that knows how to handle the pressure and knows how to win.

When others faltered, if only slightly, Parry was able to get the job done by avoiding serious mistakes and making some crucial putts at the right time. By the time he reached the 18th he had one hand on the Stonehaven Cup. His safe par was good enough to get the job done.

His par on 17 summed up his day. Playing into the strengthening wind, the hole does not suit his left to right shot shape. His drive finished in a fairway bunker, he then played a conservative recovery with a wedge. I believe many would have tried a more agressive shot – but not Parry, he would take his chances with a wedge and putter. And this is exactly what he did.

Special mention must be made of Won Joon Lee, Brandt Snedeker and Nick O’hern. Lee shot an incredible score of 66. He had a makable put on the last for 65 which would have made things more interesting. He looks like being a super star of the future.

Snedeker finished one behind and could be considered unlucky. He called a penalty on himself at 14, although this didn’t seem to halt his charge in the slightest. I hope more of these US players can come to our shore. They seem to offer plenty to the Australian public. They are great players that have personality, flair and obviously play the game in the right spirit. Jason Gore proved this last week too.

And then there’s poor O’hern. Just when it seemed he had the tournament for the taking he bogeyed 16 and 17. He was playing well at the time but those little stumbles proved to be the difference. He played an awesome shot into the last but the putt that may have gotten him into the playoff slid by. I hope O’hern doesn’t change his approach. I believe he has to keep doing what he is doing. He’s obviously a terrific player that quite possibly needs a little luck at the right time.

The day belonged to Parry. His large frame, unique swing and years of experience outshone his younger and fitter opponents. It showed everyone that golf swing is only part of the equation and that even the modern fitness craze that has swept golf is not everything. Parry should serve as a role model for all normal golfers. Being small and overweight should not be a disadvantage. Skill, courage and the ability to play your own game is more important.

While others would have spent last night ruing missed chances, Parry would have been enjoying himself (like a normal Aussie bloke) with an inner pride that can only come when one knows how to shine in the arena of battle. Well done Craig Parry, you are a real golfing Champion!

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