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January 6, 2005

Craig Parry


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Craig Parry, thank you for joining us. You won the Ford Championship at Doral last year in dramatic fashion. You started off 2005 season very well with a 6-under 67, just one off the lead right now. Let's start with some opening comments. I'm sure it's nice to be back at the Mercedes Championships.

CRAIG PARRY: Oh, definitely. Any time you get back here, you've had a pretty good year the year before. It's such a great spot. I brought the family over. We're having a great time. Golf gets in the way of enjoying Hawaii sometimes.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: What was the key to the round today?

CRAIG PARRY: I got off to a good start on the front nine. I putted well. I had a few opportunities from about 12, 15 feet and made them, and obviously that gave me the momentum to get going. On the back nine, I hit one wayward shot on No. 12 and made bogey; it was a fortunate bogey, if there was ever a good bogey, that was a good bogey. And I birdied the last hole to get to 6-under.

Q. There's been some discussion of how difficult the greens are to putt today, but you've found them to be relatively easy comparatively to everybody else.

CRAIG PARRY: Well, that's definitely the best part of my game, the putting. The greens are very grainy, but I did a lot of work in the practice rounds on putting uphill against the grain and trying to get the right speed. I thought, you know, just because you've got a long putt and it's into the grain, you may as well try and make it still rather than try to get it close. I worked a lot on just distance putting in the practice rounds. Even though I 3-putted the par 5, I think No. 15 from really nowhere, I shouldn't have 3-putted that, but that's the way it goes.

Q. Were you aware that that was your first 3-putt since you didn't 3-putt at all last year?

CRAIG PARRY: That's a pretty good stat. (Laughter.)

So I can wait until next year for the next one?

Q. On average, yes.

CRAIG PARRY: Well, that's a pretty good stat, yeah.

No, I'm sure I've had a 3-putt.

Q. You didn't. You're one of three players that didn't 3-putt last year.

CRAIG PARRY: Oh, come on.

Q. Serious. U.S. Tour.

CRAIG PARRY: I'll think of one. There's plenty, don't worry.

Q. You struggled on the greens here previously, didn't you?

CRAIG PARRY: Yeah, I did struggle and that's why I spent so much time practicing putting, and obviously it showed up today. I got the ball to the hole and that was the biggest key of 2003 when I could not get the ball to the hole. You know, I actually felt as though I played all right, but I didn't get the ball up, so obviously I was not going to make the birdies.

Q. Are you surprised or not surprised that there just seems to be a huge jumble at the time that everybody is in the range?

CRAIG PARRY: I'm not surprised anymore about the way the guys play. Everyone goes out and goes for their birdies. There's some birdie holes on the par 5s out there, as well. 15, downbreeze today, obviously a pretty good chance for the whole field to get there in two. You've got 14 where the long hitters can get home. It's a golf course that does lend itself to the guys playing well. They are going to make birdies, if you're not playing well you're going to run up a number.

Q. Having played a lot late last year, do you feel like you are coming in here relatively sharp?

CRAIG PARRY: That's what I said to my brother in the practice rounds. This is actually the best I've felt going into a PGA TOUR event; meaning I played in Australia at the end of last year and I went to Japan. I played four tournaments in the end of December and I've really only had about five or six days off, whereas the rest of the guys, they are coming back fresh, whereas I've kept playing. I feel as though I'm pretty sharp on my game.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: If we could touch on your round quickly. You started out with a birdie.

CRAIG PARRY: 3, I hit 3-wood off the tee and hit 9-iron to about 15 feet.

4, next hole, I hit 3-wood off the tee and I hit 6-iron in to about 12 feet behind the hole. Coming down the downgrain it was a pretty tricky putt but I made that.

5, I hit a good drive and I hit 3-iron into the back part of the green and 2-putted from about 40 feet.

7, I hit driver, 5-iron to 20 feet.

9, I hit a good drive and it went through the field and I hit 5-wood just short on the right-hand side and chipped it up to about.

10, I hit a terrible 3-wood up on the bank on the right and it worked out perfect, pretty flat on the topside, it was on the fairway. Hit 7-iron in to I think about 15 feet.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Only bogey of the day on No. 12.

CRAIG PARRY: I hit it right, terrible tee shot. Wind was out of the right, didn't go too far, only about 265 or something like that. I was in the long rough and I was very fortunate that they found the ball. I played an unbelievable shot to get out of that to get back to the fairway, and I hit a sand iron on to about 30 feet and 2-putted, left it short right in the middle.

18, I hit a drive, 3-wood, 9-iron to about 15 feet.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You said you 3-putted 15?

CRAIG PARRY: 3-putted 15. I had a couple other opportunities on the back nine and the they were lipping out, just the way it goes. 13, 14, I had chances and then 3-putt 15.

Q. 13, you spun out?

CRAIG PARRY: Yeah, I did the same on the next one as well.

Q. 14, too?

CRAIG PARRY: Exactly. Could have quite easily gone in but obviously, they didn't.

Q. How far was your 3-putt on 15?

CRAIG PARRY: First one was probably about 40 feet.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Craig, thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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