Date: February 18, 2013

Aussie Golf great ‘Paz’ to play 2013 Vic Open

Craig Parry has conquered some of the world’s best golfers and he’s hoping to do the same to 13th Beach Golf Links in this week’s Victorian Open. Golf Victoria is delighted that Parry, one of the greats of Australian golf, decided to be a last-minute entry into the tournament.

Parry’s appearance only enhances the quality and strength of the field teeing up this week that boasts winners on every major tour around the world, including Richard Green, Peter O’Malley, Bradley Hughes, Scott Laycock, Paul Sheehan, Michael Clayton and New Zealand duo Phil Tataurangi and Michael Long.

Tournament director David Greenhill said he expects Parry to be a major threat around the testing 13th Beach lay-out.

“While he now lives in Sydney, Craig is originally from Sunshine in Melbourne’s west and it’s fantastic that he’s found the time to come back and contest his home state Open,’’ Greenhill said.

“Having won 23 titles worldwide since turning professional in 1985, Craig has the experience and ability to handle the Links challenge that 13th Beach will provide the outstanding field that has been assembled.’’

It will be a homecoming of sorts for Parry who, as a junior, was a member of the Torquay Golf Club, located not far from Barwon Heads. The 47-year-old Parry’s career highlights include two wins on the US PGA Tour – including the 2002 World Golf Championship NEC Invitational.

He’s completed the `grand slam’ of Australian golf, winning the Australian Masters in 1992, ’94 and ’96, the Australian PGA in 1992 and the Australian Open in 2007. He represented the International team three times in the Presidents Cup competition – 1994, ’96 and ’98. His six European Tour titles also include the co-sanctioned 2005 Heineken Classic at Royal Melbourne, which he won in a play-off against Nick O’Hern.

While he’s scaled down his tournament play in the last couple of years, Parry – who was once ranked among the top 50 golfers in the world – has shown he can still mix it with the up-and-coming stars of Australian golf.
He finished tied for ninth at last year’s Vic Open played at Spring Valley, which followed on from a runner up result at the New Zealand Open.

Parry’s appearance will help offset the late withdrawal of one the tournament’s main drawcards in New Zealander Michael Hendry. Hendry, who finished runner-up at the Queensland PGA on Sunday, has decided to take a well-earned break ahead of defending his New Zealand PGA Championship title the following week.

The Men’s and Women’s Victorian Opens begin on Thursday. The women will play the Creek course for the first two days before joining the men on the Beach course for the weekend.
Both events are playing for $150,000 in prizemoney respectively.

For all the up-to-date news regarding the 2013 Vic Open, check Golf Victoria’s website, and follow @VicOpenGolf on twitter.

By: Bradley Green (Vic Open Freelancer)