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Parry, Woods, Sheehan share New Zealand Open lead

11/29/2007 - Golf

QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand -- Craig Parry shot a 4-under 68 on
Thursday for a share of the first-round lead in the New Zealand
Open with Australian countryman Paul Sheehan and England's Matthew Woods.

Parry, the 2002 champion and a two-winner on the U.S. PGA Tour,
had five birdies and a bogey on The Hills Golf Club course. He
played in the morning before windy afternoon conditions made
scoring difficult.

"It's a course that when it isn't blowing, you can go out and
shoot a low number," Parry said. "If the wind blows like it
normally would, par's a very good round. We had great conditions
out there earlier. The greens were reasonably receptive, the
putting surfaces were very good and I played really well."

Former champions, Peter Fowler of Australia and Michael Long of
New Zealand were in a large group at 69. Sweden's Daniel Chopra,
coming off a playoff loss to Aaron Baddeley last week in the
Australian Masters, opened with a 70.

New Zealand star Michael Campbell shot a 73.

The tournament, sanctioned by the Australasian and European
tours, has drawn only 32 European players.

The newly developed course, hosting a major tournament for the
first time, was built and is privately owned by New Zealand jewelry
magnate Michael Hill, the tournament sponsor.