Bamboozled Parry falls back - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bamboozled Parry falls back

By Andrew Both 12/01/2003 05:22:19 AM Comments (0)

Australian golfer Craig Parry was bamboozled and bewildered by the greens as he fell 11 strokes behind leader Ernie Els after the second round at the $US5 million ($A8.7 million) Mercedes Championship.

Parry is usually so commanding with the putter that it is strange to watch him look like a mere mortal on the greens, but the sharply sloping putting surfaces on the Kapalua course on the island of Maui have brought many a first-time visitor undone.

His lack of local knowledge was evident as he hit 16 greens in regulation but missed no fewer than eight times from inside four metres, which left him far from satisfied with a four-under-par 69.

South African Els, on the other hand, had no trouble with the greens, or anything else for that matter, as he compiled a bogey-free 65 to set a tournament record low halfway score of 17-under 129.

He led by three strokes from American Bob Estes (66), while South Korean KJ Choi (67) was five back.

"I quite easily could have had eight under today," said Parry. "I played nicely but I kept missing the putts. It's frustrating when you're hitting it close and not making them.

"This course is pretty easy when it's not windy. It's the sort of course where you shouldn't make a bogey if you're playing well."

Parry, the only Australian in the 36-man field restricted to winners on the US Tour last year, did sink a couple of nice putts, but three of his five birdies came courtesy of two-putting at the par-fives.

Parry, who was tied for 21st, refused to give up hope of appearing on the leader board by the 72nd hole, but his chances of catching Els appeared somewhere between slim and none.

In the absence of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, Els is the class of the field.

The man known as the "Big Easy" certainly made it look ridiculously easy as he used his languid swing to compile six birdies and an eagle.

"With weather like we've had the last two days, you've just got to freewheel it and make as many birdies as you can," said Els, whose double bogey during the first round is his only blemish after 36 holes.

"I felt I needed to be aggressive again today and go after my shots. I'm very happy with my round and very happy with the way I finished.

"I've just got to try to keep it up. It's not the easiest thing in the world to sleep on the lead every night."

Defending champion Sergio Garcia, 15 shots behind, didn't have the best of days.

He was without his putter on the final seven holes, after bending it when he tossed it to his bag on the 11th hole.

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