Friday, October 08, 2010

John Parry leads the Ryder

Cup stars by four

Yorkshireman John Parry, pictured by Tom Ward, set up the prospect of back-to-back victories on the European Tour as he opened up a four-shot lead following a superb second round 65 on the Old Course, St Andrews at the 10th Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

On a day of low cloud, mist and drizzle which kept scoring low, the chasing pack failed to make much of an impact on the talented 23-year-old from Harrogate, who won the Vivendi Trophy in Paris the week before the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.

Parry had seven birdies and no bogeys for a halfway total of 12-under-par, with his nearest challenger being Sweden’s Martin Erlandsson, who had a 68 at Carnoustie. Ryder Cup players Ross Fisher and Martin Kaymer plus Spain’s Alvaro Quiros are a further shot back.

The tournament, conceived as a celebration of links golf, is played over three of the world’s best known and respected links courses - the Old Course at St Andrews, the Championship Course at Carnoustie and the highly regarded Kingsbarns Golf Links.

Parry, who as an amateur played in the same Walker Cup team as European Ryder Cup star Rory McIlroy, gave much of the credit for his excellent round to his putting. He said: “I pretty much holed every putt for two days. It's going to be a big help when you're doing that, especially in the wind because you're always going to be struggling to get up and down from different positions.

“I’ve never played the Old Course in conditions like this. I've always played it luckily in pretty calm conditions, so I wasn’t used to some of the lines off the tees. You're so many yards off the fairways that you can't carry some of the bunkers. You have to be in the other fairway to have a shot. All a bit bizarre.”

Now the big question is, can Parry hang on from the chasing pack over the last two days to record the biggest win of his life? The biggest threat seems likely to come from a posse of European Ryder Cup challengers - Ross Fisher, Martin Kaymer, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Vice-Captain Thomas Bjorn - who are all within seven shots.

Fisher, who shot 68 on the Old Course, showed that the Ryder Cup celebrations had not dampened his ability to mount a serious challenge. “I always set high expectations. I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t feel like my game is ready and in good enough shape to win. I always try to turn up every week knowing and believing I can win. I like the three courses. I have had a solid start and hopefully the weather is kind to us at Carnoustie and I can go out and shoot another decent score.”

Ireland’s three-time major championship winner Padraig Harrington, who also shot 68 on the Old Course, said: “It was a good score and certainly I would have taken it on the way out. This is my third team event in a row. There’s a lot going on when you’re playing in a team event. If it’s not just your own game, you have someone else to look after and watch over. I like the Dunhill. It’s a nice week.”

As well as shooting an admirable 69, Spain’s Alvaro Quiros had the pleasure of playing with his father Martin Quiros-Mena in the Alfred Dunhill Links Team Championship. He said: “Unfortunately he's playing bad, but I'm having fun watching him. It’s the first time that he has been in a place like this, so it's a very special thing for him.” His father said: “I’m thrilled that he is playing well. I’m not playing very well, but I like to think that I’m helping him.”

South African Hennie Otto had an albatross two at the 516yds, par five, 3rd Hole during his second round at Kingsbarns. He used an 8-iron from 189yds. It was the fourth albatross in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. The others were by Colin Montgomerie, Lee Westwood and Steen Tinning.

Partnering the professionals are an enthusiastic group of talented amateur golfers, who compete for the Team Championship. Celebrities from the world of entertainment include film and TV stars Matthew Goode, Hugh Grant, Samuel L Jackson, Kyle MacLachlan, James Nesbitt, John O’Hurley and Aidan Quinn. Also taking part are rock music legend Huey Lewis and Michael Flatley, the Irish/American step dancer who created Riverdance, and popular Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans.

Three of Britain’s sporting knights – Sir Ian Botham, Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Steve Redgrave - lead a locker room full of sporting heroes, including Dutch football legends Johan Cruyff and Ruud Gullit, former England player Jamie Redknapp, ex-Chelsea and Italy star Gianfranco Zola and Scottish defender Alan Hansen.

Rugby is represented by three great former internationals, All Blacks former captain Sean Fitzpatrick, Scotland’s Gavin Hastings and Argentina’s Hugo Porta, while cricketers Allan Lamb and Michael Vaughan of England and Steve Waugh and Shane Warne of Australia are in the field, along with immensely popular former Wimbledon tennis player Tim Henman and Austrian downhill skier Franz Klammer.

Parry’s brilliant 65 lifted him and amateur partner Simon Andrews to the top of the Team Championship leaderboard, tied on 17-under-par with Finland’s Mikko Ilonen and Lisa O’Hurley, wife of American comedian John O’Hurley. One shot back is 2008 winner Robert Karlsson and Irish businessman Dermot Desmond.

British actor Hugh Grant, playing with Simon Dyson, finished on 12-under and said: “We were nothing short of brilliant going out, but then we turned into the wind and it was a bit of a struggle. But luckily I have not just got a superb golfer for a partner this year in Simon, but also a really nice bloke and he helped me a lot out there. Our score after two rounds is not at all bad, and I just hope we can have a good day tomorrow and make the cut to play here at St Andrews again on Sunday.
"From my own point of view today, it was noticeable how my game suffered once the television cameras began to follow us in from about the 14th hole onwards. Yes, I know it is strange that I should be unnerved by film cameras, but there you are. On the golf course you are not in your comfort zone. “
Radio and TV presenter Chris Evans, playing with Oliver Wilson, finished on 5-under in his first Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. He said: “We got to seven under par as a team after the front nine holes today, but then it was a battle coming in. We are doing OK as a team, but I let the side down a bit with some very bad putting today. In fact, my speciality is very bad putting. For me, in my first Dunhill it’s just a joy to be involved and to have this experience. It is an amazing tournament and experience. What is brilliant for us amateurs is seeing how the professionals do it from up close. We really don’t play the same game as they do. And that’s not just in how they hit the ball and how far.
"They have 20 different ways to chip it, and 20 different ways to hit every shot. I can hit a decent shot every now and again, but I can’t play that shot in 20 different ways. It’s remarkable to watch.”
Former tennis legend Tim Henman, playing with 2007 winner Nick Dougherty, on 8-under, said: “Nick did not have the best of days today. He had a lost ball and drove out of bounds on one hole and came back in 41, but it was tough on that inward nine. I reckon that’s the toughest conditions I’ve experienced and the back nine into the wind was playing very long.
"I was thinking to myself, as we were battling into the wind, that if you have a bad match in tennis it is usually all over in an hour or so but in golf you have to stay out there for five hours or more however you are playing. Full credit to Nick for sticking at it, and it is very interesting and instructive to see how patient the professionals are when they face tough conditions like those. I had four birdies in my round, which was very pleasing.”
Former Scotland footballer Alan Hansen, now a TV analyst, is on 8-under with professional Richie Ramsay. After their round at Kingsbarns, he said: “The highlight of the day was probably my birdie on the 11th where I had to play 470yds into the wind. I hit two great shots and then holed the putt. So at least I can take some positives out of today.
"Johan Cruyff was in our group today and he and I were saying how impressed we were with the quality of the pros. Some of the chipping today was outstanding from both our playing partners. The standard between amateurs like myself and the pros in this event is like night and day. But when you get conditions like today, even for those guys, it is just plain tough.”
The first Alfred Dunhill Links Championship was staged in 2001, but Alfred Dunhill’s support for golf at St Andrews, through the Alfred Dunhill Cup, an international team championship that took place from 1985 to 2000, goes back 26 years.

Lee Westwood played on through the pain today but it looks more likely that he will become world number one by taking time off next week than by finishing second at St Andrews on Sunday.
The Ryder Cup star, who suffered a recurrence of his calf injury during an opening 70 in the Dunhill Links Championship, added a level-par 72 at the Home of Golf. Needing a first or second-place finish to dethrone Woods this weekend, Westwood is outside the top 30 at halfway.
"It was pretty much the same as Thursday," he said. "I'm just struggling with it and I'm probably just going to get through this week and make a decision."
If he misses his defence of the Portugal Masters next week, however, the 37-year-old from Worksop will overtake Woods on the rankings - calculated over a two-year period - at the end of this month.
Former Ashes-winning England cricket captain Michael Vaughan, now retired, is playing in the celebrity pro-am and chatted with Westwood.
"I don't like pulling out of tournaments, but he said when you get something like that you just need to take the time off and make sure it's 110% when you come back," the golfer said.
Asked if it could mean another lengthy break after this week - the Ryder Cup was his first competitive action since August 6 - he replied: "Could be, yeah.
"My gut instinct is to get it better. I'm just consciously thinking about it and the longer the day goes on the worse it gets.
"It's not great and shutting down for the rest of the year is an option."
To access the live scoring for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, please direct your web browser to: and click on the Live Scoring link at the bottom of the page.

Par 144 (2x72)
132 John Parry 67 65
137 Ross Fisher 69 68, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 68 69, Alvaro Quiros (Spa) 68 69

138 Graeme McDowell 70 68

139 Fabrizio Zanotti (Par) 67 72, Simon Dyson 69 70, Padraig Harrington 71 68

140 Andrew Coltart 69 71

141 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 72 69, Damien McGrane 72 69, Steve Webster 70 71, Adilson Da Silva (Bra) 69 72, Mikko Ilonen (Fin) 71 70, Martin Laird 66 75, Rhys Davies 71 70

142 Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 67 75, Robert Coles 68 74, David Howell 69 73, Lee Westwood 70 72

143 Daniel Vancsik (Arg) 68 75, Robert Karlsson (Swe) 77 66, George Coetzee (Rsa) 73 70, Darren Clarke 76 67, Ashley Hall (Aus) 75 68, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 71 72

144 Joost Luiten (Ned) 73 71, Colin Montgomerie 72 72, Ernie Els (Rsa) 70 74, Andrew Dodt (Aus) 74 70, Victor Dubuisson (Fra) 69 75, Michael Hoey 71 73

145 Christian Cevaer (Fra) 72 73, Anton Haig (Rsa) 73 72, Rory McIlroy 71 74, Retief Goosen (Rsa) 73 72, Peter Gustafsson (Swe) 72 73, Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 69 76, Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa) 74 71, Terry Pilkadaris (Aus) 73 72, Paul McGinley 74 71, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 73 72

146 Scott Hend (Aus) 71 75, Peter Lawrie 70 76, Simon Khan 72 74

147 Peter Hanson (Swe) 74 73, Chris Wood 73 74, Alastair Forsyth 75 72, Nick Dougherty 72 75, Simon Thornton 73 74

148 Oliver Wilson 72 76

149 Jean-Francois Lucquin (Fra) 76 73

150 Craig Scott (Aus) 73 77, Keith Horne (Rsa) 76 74

151 John Daly (USA) 75 76

152 Shiv Kapur (Ind) 74 78

Par 144 (2x72)
136 Martin Erlandsson (Swe) 68 68
139 Thomas Bjorn (Den) 66 73
140 Richard Bland 68 72, Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg) 66 74, Marcel Siem (Ger) 69 71, Danny Willett 67 73
141 Gary Boyd 69 72, Stephen Gallacher 69 72, Alan McLean 68 73, Graeme Storm 68 73
142 Paul Waring 68 74, Thomas Levet (Fra) 70 72, Johan Edfors (Swe) 70 72
143 Andrew Butterfield 72 71, Paul Lawrie 71 72, Richard McEvoy 72 71
144 Felipe Aguilar (Chi) 69 75, Stephen Dodd 68 76
145 Oskar Henningsson (Swe) 71 74, Peter Hedblom (Swe) 70 75, Clodomiro Carranza (Arg) 68 77
146 Jamie Elson 71 75, Robert Jan Derksen (Ned) 71 75, Marc Warren 70 76
147 Mikael Lundberg (Swe) 69 78, Jose-Filipe Lima (Por) 70 77, Shane Lowry 69 78, Rafael Echenique (Arg) 72 75, Kenneth Ferrie 67 80, Julien Quesne (Fra) 71 76
148 Martin Wiegele (Aut) 72 76, Robert Rock 70 78, Gary Murphy 73 75, Marco Ruiz (Par) 72 76, Pablo Martin (Spa) 69 79, Steven O'Hara 71 77, Charl Coetzee (Rsa) 68 80
149 Gary Lockerbie 72 77, David Drysdale 73 76, David McKenzie (Aus) 69 80, Jeppe Huldahl (Den) 74 75, Peter Whiteford 76 73, Marcus Both (Aus) 73 76, Jamie Donaldson 68 81, Ross McGowan 70 79
150 Ariel Canete (Arg) 70 80, Mark Brown (Nzl) 72 78, Gregory Havret (Fra) 73 77, James Morrison 73 77
151 Trevor Fisher Jnr (Rsa) 73 78
152 Michael Jonzon (Swe) 73 79
153 Josh Geary (Nzl) 76 77
155 Keir McNicoll 77 78, Oliver Fisher 72 83
157 Mark Foster 75 82

Par 144 (2x72)
140 Phillip Price 70 70
141 Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fra) 70 71, Maarten Lafeber (Ned) 66 75, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 69 72, Tim Wilkinson (Nzl) 67 74
142 Anthony Wall 73 69, Hennie Otto (Rsa) 72 70, David Lynn 69 73
143 Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 69 74, Alexander Noren (Swe) 72 71, Anders Hansen (Den) 71 72, Richard Finch 68 75, Phillip Archer 72 71
144 Bradley Dredge 73 71
145 Anthony Kang (USA) 69 76, James Kingston (Rsa) 69 76, Soren Hansen (Den) 72 73, Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 70 75
146 Jason Norris (Aus) 72 74, Patrik Sjoland (Swe) 75 71, David Dixon 69 77, Matteo Manassero (Ita) 75 71, Markus Brier (Aut) 72 74, Dave Horsey 74 72, Matthew Griffin (Aus) 70 76
147 Richie Ramsay 69 78, Richard Green (Aus) 71 76, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa) 72 75
148 Gareth Maybin 72 76, Rick Kulacz (Aus) 72 76, Tano Goya (Arg) 73 75, James Kamte (Rsa) 71 77

149 Sam Hutsby 73 76, Benn Barham 72 77, Peter O'Malley (Aus) 74 75, Jyoti Randhawa (Ind) 77 72

150 Jarmo Sandelin (Swe) 73 77, Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 75 75, Sam Little 74 76, Fredrik Andersson Hed (Swe) 74 76

151 Dustin Garza (USA) 76 75, Niclas Fasth (Swe) 76 75, Scott Strange (Aus) 73 78, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 73 78, Ignacio Garrido (Spa) 71 80, Jose Manuel Lara (Spa) 75 76

152 Francois Delamontagne (Fra) 79 73, Pelle Edberg (Swe) 78 74, Tyrone Van Aswegen (Rsa) 77 75

153 Leigh McKechnie (Aus) 77 76
154 Brett Rumford (Aus) 80 74, Michael Campbell (Nzl) 74 80

155 C Muniyappa (Ind) 77 78, Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia (Ind) 77 78

159 Brandon Pieters (Rsa) 77 82

161 Jean Van de Velde (Fra) 82 79



Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © Colin Farquharson

If you can't find what you are looking for.... please check the Archive List or search this site with Google