Parry wins Vivendi Cup by two for his first European Tour victory

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The 23-year-old John Parry, who turned professional in 2007, finished at 17-under 271 at Golf de Joyenval Club.
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Associated Press and PA Sport

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John Parry of England captured his first European Tour title Sunday, winning the Vivendi Cup by two strokes over Johan Edfors of Sweden after shooting a 2-under 70.

The 23-year-old Parry, a former Walker Cup player who turned professional in 2007, finished at 17-under 271 at Golf de Joyenval Club.

Edfors had a 71 to finish a stroke ahead of five players: Francois Delamontagne of France (71), Robert-Jan Derksen of the Netherlands (71), Jarmo Sandelin of Sweden (71) and Soren Kjeldsen (70) and Mark Haastrup (72), both of Denmark.

Padraig Harrington showed signs of rounding into form ahead of the Ryder Cup, which begins Friday at Celtic Manor. The Irishman shot a 64 to finish tied for eighth at 13 under, ending the weekend with 15 birdies and an eagle.

“I am getting to Wales early, I am enthusiastic and I am ready to go,” said Harrington, who just made the cut at 2 under. “It’s been nice to play well here in France, it’s nice to post a score, though I did leave a few shots out there, which meant I could not put any pressure on the leaders.

“But I hit a lot of good shots,” he added. “I had my head in the right place most of the time and I was happy with what I saw.”

Peter Hanson, another European Ryder Cup player, will join his teammates in Wales on schedule Monday despite pulling out of the Vivendi Cup because of illness. His agent, Marcus Day, said that after two days resting at home in Sweden the 32-year-old Hanson had resumed practicing and would be ready to make his Ryder Cup debut.

Parry led last weekend’s Austrian Open after 36 holes before buckling under pressure to finish 20th. He appeared to learn from the experience, making four birdies Sunday to protect the one-shot lead he took into the final round.

“I didn’t feel comfortable in the lead in Austria,” Parry said. “But I came here, practiced hard and played really well, and I feel really comfortable in the lead this time.

“The win means so much to me because I was 116th in the money list and fighting to keep my playing card for next year. Now I know I have got one and can go ahead and plan the whole of 2011.”

Parry faltered only once down the stretch. Holding a two-shot lead, he drove into a bunker at No. 17 and took a bogey. But Edfors found the same sand and also bogeyed the hole.

Parry became the third rookie to win on this season's European Tour. He had not finished higher than ninth in any previous tournament.

"I felt nervous and just tried to control my emotions. I felt I was playing well, though, and my concentration was good,” Parry said. "I was trying to get to 20 under and I think I could have done it if I had holed a few more putts."

One in front at the start of the final round, Parry was caught early on by former Ryder Cup player Jarmo Sandelin, but after three birdies and a bogey on the front nine he turned two in front.