Date: December 16, 2007
Author: Steve Orme at The Australian

Parry pips field to take Open

Steve Orme at The Australian Golf Club, Sportal Veteran Craig Parry has claimed an action-packed MFS Australian Open by a single shot in heavy rain in Sydney on Sunday. A closing-round 69 was enough to hand Parry his first Australian Open crown, 17 years after losing a playoff to John Morse at this very layout – the Australian Golf Club. An up-and-down for par from 80-metres at the 17th hole all but delivered the Stonehaven Cup to the 41-year-old, who held off the fast-finishing Won-Joon Lee (66), American Brandt Snedeker (69) and Nick O&aposHern (70) by the narrowest of margins. Joint overnight leader James Nitties (73) had the chance to force a playoff on the final hole with a greenside eagle chip but could only manage a par to finish two strokes back alongside Stuart Appleby, who finished one-under-par on the day. Four players finished three shots in arrears at eight-under-par, including Greg Chalmers (67), Rod Pampling (68), Ewan Porter (69) and Aaron Baddeley (70). Marc Leishman (69) and Paul Sheehan (70) both had solid weeks to end tied for 11th at minus-seven alongside Robert Allenby who faded with a closing-round 75. The low round of the day belonged to Paul Marantz who held the early clubhouse lead courtesy of a spectacular 65 to rocket to six-under-par, alongside Peter O&aposMalley, Stephen Leaney and American Jason Gore. Geoff Ogilvy must wait another year to break his drought on home soil after posting closing-round 70 to finish a further shot back alongside compatriot Kane Webber. A 67 on Sunday saw former Jacobs Creek Open winner Kevin Stadler end the week on minus-four with six others, including Andrew Tampion (68) and Japanese golfer Hiroshi Iwata (71). Veteran Peter Senior finished strongly with a 69 on his way to a three-under-par finish in a six-way tie for 26th spot. Last start winner Peter Lonard failed to muster a charge in his final event of the year, finishing at two-under-par overall following an uneventful 72 to finish. The shot of the day – and surely the tournament – must go to Mathew Zions, who carded a spectacular albatross on the 510-metre par-five 14th to finish level-par for the tournament. Meanwhile, Rohan Blizard added to an already spectacular year capturing the Leading Amateur Medal with a respectable four-round tally of 293. The 23-year-old also claimed the National Amateur Championship in March and plans to hold on to his amateur status for another 12 months.