Parker shines despite mystery illness

9/7/2012 2:59:05 PM
Ben Parker  (EuropeanTour)
Ben Parker (EuropeanTour)
Having survived an illness episode which took him to three hospitals in the Moscow area, Ben Parker emerged from the opening two days of the M2M Russian Challenge Cup with some stories to tell as well as a chance of taking the title.

The Germany-based Englishman began to feel sick on the Wednesday before the tournament and after making himself known to the doctors on-site, he was taken to hospital with fears over pains close to his appendix.

With a translator by his side the whole time, Parker had to travel to three hospitals before receiving medication but he was still feeling extremely unwell by the time the opening day’s play at Tseleevo Golf & Polo Club came upon him.

“I had come all this way so I decided I would try and get through the first day and try and be better for the second round,” he explained.

Far from struggling on the course, however, Parker fired a two under par opening round of 70 before following that up with a three under par 69 on the second day to enter the race for the title on five under par, just three shots off the pace.

“It all happened on Wednesday night, I was up all night and feeling ill,” said the 25 year old. “They don’t really know what it was, I was in three hospitals. They were scared about my appendix so nobody was really sure.

“They wanted to put me on a drip and it was tough because nobody spoke English but they ended up giving me medication and I just had to drink plenty of water.”

Despite failing to shake off his illness before his opening round in Russia, he reached the turn in only one over par and ended up playing the back nine in three under par.

“I missed the bus on Thursday and I was dizzy all day but I really didn’t want to pull out,” he continued.

“To shoot two under was unbelievable really. I just didn’t think, I just wanted to get through so I played alright. I even had black-outs and missed a foot putt and didn’t even notice I missed it.

“After nine then I noticed I wasn’t even playing that badly and then holed a few more putts coming in and today, I still haven’t really eaten anything and I'm still dehydrated, but I'm feeling better.

“I think my problem is that I overthink things too much when I'm playing and I couldn’t do that this week. I'm hitting it nicely so I just need to not think and just play and see what happens.”