Form horses favoured at Australian PGA Championship

BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2004 Australian PGA Championship | Preview | 30 Nov 2004

The Cadbury Schweppes Australian PGA Championship tees of this Thursday with Peter Lonard looking to continue the run he started two weeks ago at the NSW Open and continued last week with his narrow but impressive win at the Hillross Australian Open.

Lonard has a good record at the Hyatt Regency Coolum’s layout having jointly won the title in 2002 and then last year when finishing fifth.

The return of Adam Scott to Australia following his money collecting exercise in California last week, will further enhance the quality of the field with such being lessened by the non-appearance of Robert Allenby and Stuart Appleby. Appleby is in South Africa to play the Sun City Nedbank Challenge and will miss the chance to play at a venue that gave him his first Australian victory several years ago. Allenby is resting.

The tournament is further boosted by the presence of Greg Norman although it is most unlikely that he will figure at any stage. His presence alone however is enough to ensure the tournament of success.

The Robert Trent Jones designed Coolum layout has seen tournaments of various levels played there over the years with winners such as Craig Parry, Stuart Appleby, Nick O’Hern and last week’s perhaps surprise performer Roger Davis amongst the winners. Davis finished 8th last week in Sydney after rushing back from the UBS Warburg Cup in the US.

Rod Pampling was runner up to Peter Senior here last year and the man who learnt the game just 45 minutes down the road, will be keen to erase as much as possible the memories of last week. Last year he was the one doing the chasing here when he so nearly caught Senior. Last week he was chased and caught. Whether it is from in front or behind this week he will be looking to redeem himself with a victory here.

Nick O’Hern won here in 1999, becoming the last winner of a golf tournament last century when doing so. His form this year has been the best of his professional career and although last week didn’t seem to exactly suit him, he might just bounce back here.

Craig Parry is a previous winner here and was 3rd last year. He played ok last week without doing anything too special, but it might be that on a golf course we he has succeeded he can find some winning form.

Richard Green is another in fine form. Clearly he did not like the golf course set up last week and if this is more to his liking then he has a chance to complete a great season and win his first tournament in Australia.

I like Lonard to win again from Pampling and Parry, with Scott and O’Hern in the mix somewhere.

Photo – Anthony Powter/Snapeture Sports

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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

    Read all of Bruce's articles »

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