Golf: Parry’s ready to fly the nest! INTERVIEW

John Parry during the second round of the the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. PIC: PA
John Parry during the second round of the the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. PIC: PA
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BORN in Harrogate and raised in Knaresborough, John Parry is very much Yorkshire’s golfing star - a star currently just outside the world’s top 100.

Soon, though, may come the time to fledge the White Rose - the 24-year-old admitting above all else his parents are getting sick of him!

Parry is rarely at his Knaresborouigh home shared with mum Mark and Denise with the golfing pro charged with a hectic schedule as part of his cherished place on the European Tour.

Wales, for the Saab Wales Open has been this week’s destination with Open qualifying taking place on Monday and with the Italian Open next on the agenda, Parry’s times in Knaresborough are few and far between.

It is, though, ultimately the continued need to travel and proximity to airports and motorways that could leave to Parry departing the area - that and his mum and dad’s requirement of a bit more space!

Catching up with the YEP this week amidst his busy schedule, Parry told LS1: “I still live in Knaresborough but I think maybe the end of this year I’ll move out but I’m not sure where to yet.

“I’m just with my parents - Mark and Denise - and I think they are sick of the sight of me so I need to move out!

“Obviously I wouldn’t like to leave as it’s a nice area and I wouldn’t mind staying round there but for travelling and stuff it’s not ideal.

“I might be a house next year and I think eventually I might move towards Manchester as a lot of players move towards the Manchester area.

“It’s just easier to travel.”

And how travel is a huge part of Parry’s life on the professional tour, the Knaresborough star admitting that airport’s and foreign shores are part and parcel of life mid-way into his second season on the European Tour.

“The travel is just one of those things,” he said.

“It’s all right some times but these next few weeks are quite hard.

“Obviously we have the US and then Open qualifying and so obviously you have got top play 36 holes on the Monday which is quite tricky.

“I know when my mum and dad came out to watch me in Spain and it did their head in. They had not been abroad for about five or six years and it just did their head in like waiting in airports all the time.

“They said like how do you do that every week but you get used to it and expect to be waiting and hanging around and it becomes the norm.”

That norm is life as a professional, Harrogate-born Parry turning pro back in 2007 with his two career highlights to date being victory in the 2009 Allianz Golf Open Grand Toulouse on the Challenge Tour as well as last year’s success in the Vivendi Cup, a success which secured a one-year exemption on the European tour.

But Parry can still remember the early days - when he was first introduced to the sport as a six-year-old whilst living in Birmingham - followed by his real first steps into the game at both Knaresborough and Harrogate.

“None of my family play golf, my mum and dad don’t play golf but my uncle plays golf and I probably first played when I was about six,” he said.

“He gave like me and my brother a golf lesson when we used to live in Birmingham but we didn’t really play golf.

“Then we went down to the park when we moved to Knaresborough and it just started off there at Knaresborough.

“It used to be like a pound a lesson and then I tried to join there but I wasn’t allowed to join as I was too young.

“But Harrogate changed their rules, and I was eight wen you had to be eight so I just ended up being based there.”

The dream from then on was to turn pro - a dream achieved in 2007 and the immediate aim is to break into the world’s top 50 and top 100 by the end of July with Parry eyeing a place in the field for the forthcoming US PGA.

A rankings-rise and more silverware are top of the Yorkshireman’s wish-list.

“I think I’m about 140th at the minute and the aim was to try and get towards the top 50 by the end of the year or the top 100 by the end of July,” he said.

“Obviously there is the US PGA which is one of the majors and if you are in the top 100 you get into that so I’ll be pushing on this next month or so.

“I’m not 100 per cent sure but I think I’ve been as high as 115/120 and if you put a couple of decent weeks together like top five/top 10 finishes I wouldn’t be a million miles away.

“You look at all the sort of top players now in general and obviously there is the odd exception but they are all sort of early to mid 30s,” he said.

“So there’s obviously a lot of time there for me in the next few years to sort of push myself on and try and get to where they are.

“It’s just about experience I think and gaining as much experience as you can as well.

“Rankings is nice like getting up there but it’s also juts about winning events and like the majors that you dream about.

“You never know if you are going to do it but you aim to win the majors and win as many tournaments as you can.”

The Allianz Golf Open Grand and Vivendi Cup are the two main tournaments Parry has snared thus far but he’s not one for watching them back during down-time - or any golf for that matter either!

Chock a block travelling and competing in the sport on a day to day basis, Parry revealed that another 18 holes is the last thing he wants to be watching during any spare time with socialising with his pals and his other love - Birmingham City FC - the main things on his agenda.

Pity the latter have just gone down.

Speaking about his spare time, Parry added: “When I am back home and stuff I don’t tend to watch golf and it’s one of those things where you are doing it full time anyway,” he said.

“I guess it’s like footballers and I bet a lot of footballers probably don’t watch football because they do it all the time.

“It probably doesn’t sound too good but I don’t really follow it! I just keep myself to myself.

“When I’m back home I just go out with my mates really and just do what everyone else does really.

“Every now and again we might go out for a few beers but obviously if you are playing the next week you can’t really afford to do it because of the after effects!

“But if there’s any footy games on or anything like that then I just watch them and things like that.

“I support Birmingham who went down and I thought we were going to be all right as well.

“I was watching the game with my dad as well and we had like the three games on one screen.

“When we scored with 10 minutes to go we thought we were going to stay up but Wigan scored and then Wolves scored about four minutes later

“A couple of months ago we thought we were going to be safe and in Europe but we’re not and now we are in the Championship!

“I was all right about it but my dad had a couple of bottles of wine to drown his sorrows!”

Drax's Liam Ridgill, top left, and Leeds Golf Centre's Nigel Sweet, front second right, take their places among the Englanf Golf award winners.

Yorkshire twice among the winners at Engl;and Golf Awards night