Lonard crowned king of the mountain
BY Fred Norks | Australasian PGA Tour | 2007 Australian PGA Championship | Round Four | 09 Dec 2007
A final round of seven under 65 has seen Peter Lonard capture his third Australian PGA Championship in the shadows of stunning Mount Coolum on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
The New South Welshman and avid V8 supercar fan, finished three strokes clear of a resurgent David Smail, who did his best to derail the unflappable Lonard.
“I think today was really good. Today was good for me not just the way I played but when I got on the range I had a fire in my belly to play which I haven’t had for a long time.
“I was nervous on the first tee and nervous on a lot of shots and that’s when you know you are fully focused on it so out of the whole day, just the feeling I had before I played was something I hadn’t had for a long time so I think that was the best part.”
Smail moved in to contention with three birdies late in his front nine but could not maintain the momentum when it counted and had to settle for outright second place on 17 under.
His cheque of AUD$142,800 takes him to the top of the Australasian PGA Tour Order of Merit with a total of AUD$163,185 from four events. This is in addition to the almost AUD$500,000 he has earned this year on the lucrative Japanese Tour, where he has enjoyed considerable success in recent years.
Overnight leader, Rory Sabbatini, had a day he would rather forget, carding a two over 74, which included five bogeys on the treacherous back nine of the 6,263 metre Hyatt Coolum layout.
Sabbatini had looked like he may well have run away with the title today following rounds of 68, 67 and 67 over the previous three days but from very early on today, the South African was unable to get things going – 32 putts and only 9 of 14 fairways hit tells the story.
A maiden Australian professional victory has again eluded world number six, Adam Scott, who was let down by his putter today and closed with a four under 68 to finish in equal 6th alongside Adam Bland, another casuality of an unforgiving flat stick.
Newcastle’s Nathan Green, who now makes his home in Dallas, Texas, leapt in to equal 8th place alongside Richard Green following a superb 8 under 64.
Rory Sabbatini, J.B. Holmes and New Zealand’s Michael Long tied for 10th on 12 under, one shot ahead of Brett Rumford and Stephen Leaney.
2007 Australian Amateur Stroke Play Champion, Andrew Dodt, closed with a final round 73 to take home the Kel Nagle Plate for the highest finishing rookie on 1 over. Dodt will tee it up at next week’s Australian Open courtesy of his Stroke Play victory in March of this year.