Lonard poised at Viking Classic
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2011 Viking Classic | Day Three | 17 Jul 2011
American golfer Chris Kirk has a one shot lead heading into the final round of the PGA Tour’s Viking Classic in Madison, Mississippi, but with a congested leader-board lined up just behind him and a golf course ripe for the picking then he has big task on day four to hold on.
Kirk is a rookie on the PGA Tour in 2011 having earned his way there via the Nationwide Tour in 2010 where he won two events. Already this season he has done enough to secure his ongoing status on the PGA Tour for 2012 but tomorrow offers the chance to win his first event at this level.
Amongst those in a group of four golfers just one shot behind Kirk is the Australian golfer Peter Lonard, Sunghoon Kang, D.J. Trahan and George McNeil.
Lonard was not even playing this event until he received a late call up from officials on Tuesday advising him that, because of withdrawals, he had a start. Lonard was forced to change direction en route to the Nationwide Tour event in Ohio and arrived at the course without the chance for a full practice round.
Facing the prospect of having to play 36 holes on day three in order to complete the washed out second round, Peter began his day slowly but reeled off seven birdies in his last nine holes for an inward nine of 29 in the morning round before heading back out.
He was going along nicely enough in round three but made a mess of the par five 7th and slipped out of the lead. He bounced back with three more birdies for a round of 66.
It’s Lonard’s first PGA Tour event since November of 2011 and after a year of recovery from surgery it is a good week so far. “It’s good. It’s been a long road, he told the PGA Tour after his round today. Like I say it’s not a great deal of difference between Nationwide and the main TOUR, I suppose, from what I’ve seen. Some day you got to get out there and go low, and if you don’t go low you get left. I think the last couple of weeks I put myself in the position of having done that good. Hopefully I will do it again tomorrow.”
Steve Elkington is the next best of the Australians in 18th position at 13 under.
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