Parry coasts to Coolum victory

 

Australian Craig Parry kept up his hot streak, carrying off the £120,000 Coolum Golf Classic by three shots on Queensland's Sunshine Coast yesterday. The West Australian, known as `Popeye' on the Australasian circuit for his bulging forearms, fired rounds of 70-68-71-67 for a 12under-par total of 276 to beat compatriot Robert Allenby (7070-73-66) to the £22,000 first prize.

Parry's win completes a hot two-month streak which has produced two top-10 US Tour finishes, a win and two thirds in Japan, a third in last month's Australian Open behind Englishman Lee Westwood and seventh in last week's New Zealand Open.

"I could have quite easily won nearly every tournament I played in," he said. "In the Australian Open, for example, I had 25 birdies." He added that he felt he was back to the way he played before falling into a similar trap to players like Ian Baker-Finch who went searching for the perfect swing.

Parry said his fortunes have turned around since he left the US Tour without a win and jaded a few months ago:

"Everything changed when I booked my ticket to come back home. I bought a boat six weeks ago, spent 60 hours on the water and hardly touched a golf club before I went to Japan for the Dunlop Phoenix Open."

Leading Final Scores: 276 - C Parry (Aus) 70 68 71 67; 279 - R Allenby (Aus) 70 70 73 66; 283 - S Tait (Aus) 72 70 69 72; 284 - K Druce (Aus) 71 72 71 70, L Parsons (Aus) 68 69 76 71, W Smith (Aus) 69 73 73 69; 285 - C Jones (Aus) 73 68 71 73, R Byrd (USA) 69 73 72 71; 286 - P Stewart (USA) 69 77 72 68, R Willis (Aus) 70 73 73 70; 287 - N O'Hern (Aus) 77 68 72 70, C Spence (Aus) 71 74 72 70; 288 - P Lonard (Aus) 71 72 77 68, M Goggin (Aus) 72 76 69 71; 289 - G Evans (Eng) 74 70 72 73. Selected: 292 - D Chopra (Swe) 73 75 76 68; 300 - A Edwards (Zim) 73 78 72 77.