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Simon Bell's switch to caddying proves sound with John Parry
Baildon’s Simon Bell is back on the bag for John Parry today already safe in the knowledge his employer has secured his European Tour card for next year.
The two-time Bradford Open champion is loving life as a caddy after linking up with his former Yorkshire team-mate.
It has been a successful partnership, culminating in a tied 28th place finish in the US Open – Parry’s first major – and a tied fifth place in the Scottish Open a few weeks later.
Bell opted to sacrifice his own playing career but finding himself on the world’s biggest stage at Merion back in June suggests it was worth it.
He said: “It was a great experience after getting through qualifying at Walton Heath, then making the cut and then John doing so well.
“We had some great groups, playing with Matt Kuchar and Martin Laird and then Padraig Harrington.
“I had to try and treat it like any other tournament, which was hard but you have to just go and do your job.”
Bell, who won the Bradford Open in 2004 and 2007 as well as the Bradford Amateur Championship in 2008, has also gained some tips on the job from Billy Foster.
The Bingley St Ives member was caddying at the Scottish Open for Branden Grace, who was in the same group as Parry.
Bell said: “Billy is one of the best-known caddys in the world and I tried to learn from him.
“We also walked the course on the Monday and I bent his ear and got information from him.”
The 29-year-old rarely gets chance to play these days but still catches up with his golfing pals between tournaments. He said: “I do sometimes miss playing, like when James (Firth) won the Bradford Amateur this year. But doing this for a job makes up for it.”
Harrogate-born Parry tees off in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Glen-eagles today in 78th spot in the Race to Dubai rankings.
Having lost his card at the end of 2011 and then regaining it by winning the Tour Qualifying School last year, Parry has already won enough money to keep his place for 2014.
Bell said: “It means John is able to pick and choose his tournaments for the rest of the season, whereas in the past he would play wherever he could get into.
“Now his aim is to get into the top 60 for the World Tour Championship in Dubai in November.”
Parry, who was Bell’s foursomes partner for Yorkshire in his amateur days, said of his caddy: “He’s a good lad who loves a laugh but when the pressure is on he is pretty cool and gives me the feedback I need.
“He helped me get through six gruelling rounds at Q-School in 2012 and we came out on top.
“You can’t buy that sort of help.”
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