'Popeye' joins mates on Legends tour at Byron
A NEW contender has joined the ranks of the Australian Legends Tour Championship at the Byron Bay Golf Club.
Previous winners Peter Senior and Rodger Davis teed off before Craig Parry, who is playing the event for the first time.
'Popeye' Parry is winding down for another year after recently playing in the Australian Open in Sydney and the Australian PGA Championship on the Gold Coast last week.
He turned 51 this year and has been a recognised name in Australian golf since turning professional in 1985.
Parry had his first round at Byron Bay when he played in the club competition on Wednesday before further practice on Thursday.
"The course is in great condition and I finished a few under par, which is a promising sign,” Parry said.
"There are a lot of great players here and most of them know the course better than I do.
"The greens are firm and I just have to stay patient out there and find the right shot.”
There is a strong field this year with defending champion Steve Conran back again while other previous winners Tod Power and David Merriman are also in the field.
About 60 professionals have entered with the pro-am to continue today with the likes of Mike Harwood, Ossie Moore and Terry Price also involved.
It is the Legends only round tomorrow before they head to Noosa on the Sunshine Coast.
It will be the last competition of the year for Parry and one he would love to win.
"It's funny, some guys hit 50 and are still really competitive,” Parry said.
"I still take it seriously but I'm a bit more relaxed and winding down now after playing so many years here and overseas.
"This is an event where any of the big names can win the trophy and it won't be easy.”
Earlier in the week, Lucien Tinkler won the inaugural Lismore Legends Pro-Am at the Lismore Workers Golf Club on Wednesday.
Some golfers from the Legends tour were there with Tinkler finishing with a 6-under par 64, four shots clear of second-placed Harwood.
"It's great to win the inaugural Legends Pro-Am at Lismore, especially when my great mate Peter Jaeger is the driving force behind the tournament,” Tinkler said.
"I just couldn't do anything wrong out there.
"I drove the ball well, hit my irons solid and holed a fair share of the putts.”
Entry is free at Byron Bay for the next two days, with spectators encouraged to attend.