Golf: Parry finding winds a breeze

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The Independent Online
CRAIG PARRY, of Australia, shot a two-under-par 68 to take a three-stroke lead in the first round of the Johnnie Walker World Championship at Montego Bay, Jamaica yesterday. He was the only player in the 28-strong elite field to break par in the teeth of heavy winds.

Nick Faldo held steady in the early stages but faltered towards the end of his round, finishing on 71 with the chasing pack. Parry and Faldo had both made the turn with surprising 32s, but the Open champion dropped four strokes to par in three consecutive holes to give the Australian the lead.

'I let a couple of shots get away from me, which was a shame,' said Faldo, who sandwiched bogeys around a double bogey at the brand new 187-yard 15th hole, where a poor bunker shot and an even worse chip cost him two strokes.

Parry faltered slightly at the end, making bogeys on the 15th and 18th holes but he also birdied the 17th by sinking an 18-foot putt. Just as in the inaugural event here last year, the strong winds off the ocean left the scoreboard littered with big numbers, including sevens, eights and even a nine.

'We play in tough conditions a lot at home. We're fairly used to these type conditions,' Parry said in trying to explain how he prevailed in gusty winds that embarrassed many of the world's best players.

The defending champion, Fred Couples, had one of the worst scores. He went out in six-over- par 41, which included a triple-bogey eight on the fourth hole, and he was eight over after 12 holes.

Sandy Lyle, of Britain, shot 76 as did Seve Ballesteros of Spain. Bernhard Langer, of Germany, who was second here last year, shot 77.

The 28 players played the 458- yard, par-four eighth hole in a combined 40 over par. The American, Brad Faxon, went 12 over par in four consecutive holes, including a nine on the eighth. Couples, the leading money winner on this year's American Tour, said before setting out that he wants to play more in Europe. Couples said he plans fewer tournaments in 1993, but more of them in Europe.

Couples, the world No 2, had two reasons for hoping to play more in Europe. 'It's a Ryder Cup year and it will help me prepare, plus I like to play in Europe,' he said.

JOHNNIE WALKER WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (Montego Bay, Jamaica) First round scores: 68 C Parry (Aus). 71 G Norman (Aus); P O'Malley (Aus); M Roe (GB); N Faldo (GB). 72 D Love (US). 73 D Edwards (US); R Floyd (US); I Woosnam (GB); T Kite (US). 74 C Montgomerie (GB). 75 I Palmer (SA); P Azinger (US); M O'Meara (US); A Forsbrand (Swe); T Johnstone (Zimb). 76 S Ballesteros (Sp); S Lyle (GB); B Lane (GB). 77 B Langer (Ger); C Pavin (US); F Couples (US). 79 C O'Connor Jnr (Irl). 80 R Allenby (Aus); S Elkington (Aus). 81 J Sluman (US). 82 B Faxon (US). 83 D Frost (SA).

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