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March 10, 2004

Craig Parry


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Craig Parry, thanks for joining us.

It's been a couple of days since your miraculous shot on 18 in the playoff at the Ford Championship with Scott Verplank, maybe just some recollections about the day, an exciting one for and you the PGA TOUR.

CRAIG PARRY: Yeah, obviously, it was an amazing feeling to hole that shot. The amount of interviews I've done, Australian radio, TV, things like that, just all of the e mails, all of the messages on the phone. Anyone who called was yahooing on the phone and jumping up and down. I had 22 messages in the first hour. It was amazing. And no one knows my phone number. (Laughter.)

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: What's your mindset going into this tournament? After obviously a great week, it will be tough to recreate a shot like that this week, but what are your goals this week? What are your plans going into the week?

CRAIG PARRY: Well, obviously it's a new golf course and not too many players have played it. I think it's a great golf course, a lot of fun.

You know, it's a different style of golf course. It's more like a course you would find maybe at home with the run off areas and a lot of chipping areas out there. You know, even though the ball runs off the green and quite a ways from the green, it's like you're on the green because the grass is so good, you can putt it.

Q. You've seen the replays a few times, have you had, a couple of days later, a chance to put into perspective exactly what you accomplished from a historical standpoint on the TOUR and what you've done for your career with that?

CRAIG PARRY: Well, I mean, there's a few people who said it's the best shot they have ever seen under pressure. It's for other people to talk about.

As far as I'm concerned, I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time and hit a great shot. I went at the hole, and not too often you hole your shot, especially a full shot on such a hard hole. You know, it is a very intimidating hole.

Q. Would you mind if your career ended up being defined by what you did that afternoon?

CRAIG PARRY: It's fine. (Laughing) No, I wouldn't mind. Who knows what I'll do in the future. If anything else is going to be around the corner, you don't ever know. I was just extremely happy. The first win was a relief to win on the TOUR; that one was just a joyful experience to be in that position. And the crowd went absolutely crazy from when I hit the shot. And even in the playoff when we were going back to the tee, the spectators were fantastic. They were cheering for Scotty, which is only understandable, but they were also saying "good luck" and "hope you play well in the playoff."

Q. I filmed the Pro Am at that event, and we went out to the racetrack, that car, the GT, how does that get to you? Do they like ship that to you or how does that work?

CRAIG PARRY: I've got no idea, but I know it hope it flies.

Q. Are they going to send it to Australia for you?

CRAIG PARRY: No. We haven't really talked about those details. The last one sold for $500,000, and I said, well this check really paying the tax on this car, is it.

Look, it's an unbelievable feeling to be able to win the tournament and get a car like that. As I said to the Australian media, it goes to Sydney from Melbourne in three hours; well, it's a ten hour drive. You can fly in it. It's really a racing car. You'd never get out of first gear. You'd never fit the clubs in the back there, either.

Q. Did you go fishing yesterday?

CRAIG PARRY: No. I couldn't end up going in the end because I had to do TV for Australia. It's called the Today Show and it was a live hook up.

Q. Have you been out in public and have people come up to you; what kind of reaction have you gotten?

CRAIG PARRY: Oh, yeah a lot of people. Maybe they are recognizing my brother, as well as me, together. They just go: "Well done. Great shot." And all of the people out here today, it's been really good.

Q. We heard you had something to say to Australian radio about Johnny Miller's opinions, do you sit there and think, "Well, I have 900,000 reasons why I'm out here and you're in the Booth, Johnny," or does it really get personal when people start criticizing the swing?

CRAIG PARRY: Oh, look, the swing is probably criticized I haven't seen the swing he criticized. There were a couple shots out there today I looked like a 15 handicapper. That's up for him to say; what can I do.

Q. Do you think it's just his way of describing your swing or do you think it was more that than being critical?

CRAIG PARRY: It was just probably a poor shot at the time. As I say, I don't know which shot he was talking about. Maybe it was his way of exaggerating what actually just happened rather than trying to put it into words.

I mean, my swing is not actually that much off Craig Stadler, I would imagine. If people have sort of seen the two poses, it's really not that dissimilar, but I've never heard him talk about Stadler. So it's just water off a duck's back. Don't worry about it. I've got car; I've got the trophy; I've got the money.

Q. There is a report that you complained to TOUR officials about his comment?

CRAIG PARRY: I spoke to the TOUR about it.

Q. You've been handling it in here with lots of humor and aplomb, is it something different?

CRAIG PARRY: I spoke to the TOUR about it. I just said, "Look, I don't think it's the right thing to do."

Q. Did you hear the comments?

CRAIG PARRY: No. But I know what he said.

Q. What was the tour's reaction?

CRAIG PARRY: They were they were disappointed with his comments. I mean, that's for the TOUR to say. That's for the guys from the PGA TOUR to come out and say what they want to say. They were just disappointed. But, you know, I'm quite happy with the outcome. I won.

Q. Did you talk to Henry or Sid?


Q. So you're saying you feel his comments crossed the line?

CRAIG PARRY: Well, I've had a lot of players come up to me, yeah.

Look, you guys watched it. If you think it crosses the line, well, you write it.

Q. We're similar to you. We weren't necessarily listening to it either. Plus, it's not our swing, we don't know how personal or how much of an affront it is to someone when that's said. Obviously it sounds derogatory.

CRAIG PARRY: It's just one of those things. I don't know which swing he was talking about. It might have been a 6 iron that I caught to the right or what have you. The thing about my swing, it's repetitive. I know how the ball it going to go. I know my weaknesses and I don't play into my weaknesses.

Q. Justin said in here earlier that if someone criticized his swing, but then explained why it still worked, that he was comfortable with that. Are you comfortable with that?

CRAIG PARRY: Yeah, no problem at all. I mean, I come over the top of the ball and hold onto it; that's why it goes with a bit of a fade. It works. I aim down the left side. You know, that's my swing.

Q. So if Johnny Miller had said, geez, if you look at this swing, Ben Hogan would cringe, but this is why it works

CRAIG PARRY: But he didn't say that, though.

Q. But hypothetically if he said, this is why it works.

CRAIG PARRY: But I can't understand how he can use someone else's name when he doesn't know what they are thinking, let alone Mr. Hogan was a hell of a player. He should be using his own words rather than be using someone else's name.

Q. Is that part of what bothered you?

CRAIG PARRY: That was one part.

It doesn't really bother me. He just said what he thought and he maybe overexaggerated, I don't know.

Q. How many times have you seen the shot since then?

CRAIG PARRY: Go in the hole? About half a dozen times.

Q. Has anybody tried to change your swing?

CRAIG PARRY: My swing works. I won the Ford Championship last week. Hit a pretty good shot in the playoff. (Laughter.)

Q. Obviously you resisted, but aesthetically, have they said, what are you doing or that never came into

CRAIG PARRY: Over a period of time you try and work on it and try and improve it. I always figure if you know where the ball is going, that's a pretty good start. There's a lot of guys that swing it really well and they are down the road waiting for next week's tournament or not even on TOUR. What would you rather have, a career that's on TOUR and winning tournaments or a guy that looks good?

Q. How anxious are you to get back out there and play when you're on a roll like that?

CRAIG PARRY: Yeah, very anxious. I felt really comfortable on the golf course. The front nine is really a lot of fun to play. The back nine gets a lot tougher, especially on No. 10, it's a very short hole and it's got quite a bit of slope on the fairway and it runs off into the rough.

It's a good golf course. I think the guys will enjoy it. Obviously the wind is not blowing today. So it was quite benign out there and easy to play.

Q. Do you have a sudden appreciation for what Jim Furyk has had to go through in his career about his swing?

CRAIG PARRY: Well, I wouldn't mind having a U.S. Open, either. (Laughter.)

There you go. Jim knows how to get it around the golf course. He's going to go down in history as a U.S. Open champion, not to mention all of the other tournaments he's won. He's been a great player.

Q. When you go out on a golf course, this one nobody has seen, what are you looking for specifically in a practice round?

CRAIG PARRY: Mainly where all the trouble is, where the water hazards are, where the ball fades off, where you can't hit it around the greens and things like that into the bunkers. Take the trouble out of play; that's what your practice round is about. So when you get in the tournament you don't put yourself in any undue situations where you can't get up and down.

Q. How long does it usually take for you to feel comfortable on a course?

CRAIG PARRY: Two days. So I've got the Pro Am tomorrow which will be a good time.

Q. If you play well, do you think this course will suit your game?

CRAIG PARRY: Yeah, I do.

Q. Is it appreciably harder or easier than Doral?

CRAIG PARRY: It's a different type of golf course. It's more of a golf course that's maybe open off the tee. However, you've still got to hit into the right position because of the way the greens are. They are quite severe in places out there and it will depend on where the flag placements go.

As I said earlier, the ball is going to run off the green and it doesn't necessarily mean you're not on the green even though you're not on the green. You've just got to use a putter anyway. It's just like you're putting up a big ridge and you'll be using different clubs that you don't normally use.

Q. Have you thought about the Masters, what it will take to get there, what it would mean to get there again?

CRAIG PARRY: Well, I'm going to make the Masters because I'm 35 in the world now.

Q. You jumped to 35?

CRAIG PARRY: Yeah. So that's going to be great. You know, to get back to Augusta I played last year, you know, the Masters is fantastic tournament. It's just a great golf course to play.

Hopefully it will play hard and fast rather than soft like it did last year. Because it was a brute of a golf course last year because of all of the rain. That Thursday morning when it just came down when we had to come back and play Friday, 36 holes, that was a tough walk. 18 holes around Augusta is hard enough, but 36 was tough.

Q. Was it '92 the year that you were in the final group?

CRAIG PARRY: Yeah, with Freddie.

Q. Do you think back to that and the experience that you learned there and what do you take from that?

CRAIG PARRY: Back in '92, I was a little bit younger. You know, if I had probably a bit more experience I might have been able to go on and do the job there. At that stage, you know, I had not played the TOUR as a regular TOUR member, I was still playing in Europe at that stage and playing the Australasian Tour in Japan and playing all over the world.

But, you know, that was a lot of fun playing the Masters back in '92. The golf course, I remember it very, very well. The golf course was playing hard and fast. It had not rained other than I think on the Saturday evening I think it might have rained and Freddie hit it into the water on No. 12 and the ball plugged up out of the water hazard because the water hazard actually had risen. But the golf course actually played pretty fast.

Look, Augusta, if it plays fast, the shorter hitters can win. If it plays really long like it did last year, you'll just have the guys that hit it a long way.

Q. One last thing on this other issue, what corrective measures would you like to see the TOUR take in regards to this?

CRAIG PARRY: Just call the shots as they are, just get the commentators to call the shots as they are rather than get personal.

Q. You felt it was personal?


Q. I've never been to Australia, but this car do you drive on the right side or left

CRAIG PARRY: We are on the opposite side of you guys. So we are on the right side, yeah. We are right hand drive rather than left hand drive.

Q. So like in England?


Q. So what would you do? Would you take that car over there?

CRAIG PARRY: Where are you going to drive it over here? (Laughing) Indianapolis? (Laughter.)

Q. Have you gotten any offers from someone wanting to take it off your hands?

CRAIG PARRY: Yeah, Hank Kuehne wanted me to sell it to him. And Stuart Appleby said I could leave it in his garage. There's been quite a few guys that would like to use it. They drove it last week in the testing of the cars and they said it was fantastic.

Q. Stuart would have that thing taken apart; he'll go in there and fiddle around with it.

CRAIG PARRY: He would. When a car goes 220 miles an hour, where are you going to drive it? There's just nowhere.

Q. It goes slower than that, doesn't it?

CRAIG PARRY: I'm sure, first gear.

Q. Was your family up watching it live the other night at home? What was that scene described to you like?

CRAIG PARRY: Yeah, that was amazing. April, my oldest daughter, she had to go off to school because she had an important play at school. And Ryan, my middle one, he stayed at home and he watched it on the big screen. We've got a big screen that comes out of the ceiling and everything. The oldest one, he had an excursion he had to go to, so he couldn't watch it. So my wife and my son watched it together and he was jumping up and down.

Q. What time would that have been the time you finished?

CRAIG PARRY: I think it was about 9:00 and they start school at 9:00. So just means they are going to miss school.

Q. 9:00 AM Monday?

CRAIG PARRY: 9:00 AM Monday morning. The golf club that I'm a member at home which is Concord Golf Club. They held the Australian ladies open there and they had to go back on the Monday to finish the Australian ladies tournament. So the golf club was full of members and what have you, and obviously the playoff, when I holed it, they are all high fiving in the clubhouse. They had free drinks on. So I got a nice e mail from the club. That's where Laura Davies won.

Q. How is your oldest?

CRAIG PARRY: April is 11 and Ryan is 9 and Brendan is 6.

Q. So they are not old enough that they are salivating for you to bring this car home.

CRAIG PARRY: The youngest one, he actually said to me on Saturday night, he said, "I like the red in the back there, Dad. It was Ford Expedition, I think. He's got no idea, but we'll let him pick the color.

Ryan, I said, "What are you going to do?"

And he said, "I'm going to go out and play golf, Dad.: I'm like, well, okay, fair enough. That's what he wants to do.

Q. What will your schedule be between here and the Masters?

CRAIG PARRY: I play this week, next week, TPC, week off, Masters.

Q. And are you going to step up the rest of your U.S. schedule any because of the win?

CRAIG PARRY: Not really. Hopefully I'll be exempt for the U.S. Open, the British Open and the other World Golf Championships events. Just have my schedule around that. So I'll play 15.

Q. Your week off, will you go home?

CRAIG PARRY: I'll be in Orlando.

Q. When will you see your wife and kids again?

CRAIG PARRY: Jenny actually flies in on Sunday. She was always flying over. I'll see her Sunday and she's going to be around for two weeks and the kids are on school holidays the week of the Masters. They get three weeks off. I will actually go home to Australia. I will go home after the Masters and spend some time with the kids.

Q. Had you ever considered relocating over here?

CRAIG PARRY: Not really, because, I mean, when my wife has got a twin sister, identical twin. She's got three kids. Her older sister has another four kids. It's a big family. You know, when the kids get older, we don't want them to have all of their friends over here and then Jenny and I say, come on, we are all moving back to Australia, because I think that's the hardest thing to do to the kid. I would rather them be in Australia with all of their cousins, they always play together and there's always plenty of people around the house, so they don't really miss me too much when I'm away.

And that's what we wanted to do. The schooling is very good at home. They are going to good schools and they are turning out to be really good kids.

Q. How serious were you about possibly hanging it up over here?

CRAIG PARRY: I was very serious. That's what I was going to do for sure.

Q. If you had not won the NEC, that would probably be it?

CRAIG PARRY: Yeah. I would have played in Japan and Europe and Australia and I would have been quite happy.

Q. Would you ever have wondered what you may have missed?

CRAIG PARRY: No. I mean, I've played enough tournaments. Finally to make the break through was fantastic, and it was just a relief to win the NEC. It's made life a lot easier, that's for sure.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Thank you. Good luck this week.

End of FastScripts.

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