Craig Parry loves being referred to as the reigning Australian Open champion - but he expects to lose the title by Sunday.
Parry has a love-hate relationship with the Royal Sydney layout, home to this year’s national championship, and is realistic about his chances of going back-to-back after his triumph at the nearby Australian course last year.
“Being Australian Open champion meant a lot to me – being announced on the first tee as Australia Open champion is pretty special – but this golf course (Royal Sydney) doesn’t suit my game anywhere near as much as The Australian,” Parry admitted before a practice round today.
“The longer hitters can get home to two of the par fours and four of the par fives whereas I can only get home to one or two of the par fives.
“I’m giving quite a few shots away so I have to make sure my short game is on.
“I love the golf course; it’s just a very demanding course at my length off the tee.”
While rating PGA Championship winner Geoff Ogilvy and fellow Aussies Rod Pampling and Robert Allenby as the players to beat, Parry said of his own chances: “If I play well a top five finish is very good.
“I was fortunate I was able to win the tournament last year but this year is a different golf course and I find it a little tougher playing this course, just because the way (it) is set up.
“The guys who hit it a long way have got a really big advantage.”
Of the international contingent, Parry expects Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke and big-hitting American John Daly to prosper.
“Darren Clarke is a fantastic player, he’s a guy that can hit it a long way and as I say long hitters have the advantage this week,” Parry said.
“I would think John Daly if he’s able to drive the ball straight this (course) is definitely going to suit him because he’s going to have holes where he can just get up and hit driver and take the bunkers out of play and a lot of trouble out of play.
“That’s really the key to the golf course you’ve got to hit it long and straight.”