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Lonard joins the greats

By John Coomber, Senior Sports Writer 28/11/2004 06:32:18 PM Comments (0)

Peter Lonard joined rarefied company when he won his second successive Australian Open golf championship.

As others wilted around him on a scorching 39-degree Sydney day, Lonard pounced with five birdies on the back nine at The Australian GC, his favourite Australian course.

His score of 71-71-71-68 gave him a one-stroke win over Stuart Appleby (71) and he became the 10th player to put his name on the century-old Stonehaven Cup in successive years.

He joins immortals like Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Norman Von Nida and Greg Norman in that select group, along with Aaron Baddeley, who won in 1999-2000, the first as an amateur.

Player achieved the feat twice, in 1962-63 and 1969-70.

But Lonard will forever be remembered as the man who won the centenary Australian Open, just as past winner Kel Nagle, who was too sick to attend celebrations this week, is always remembered for winning the centenary British Open in 1960.

Lonard declared it the highlight of his career.

"So much history is involved in the Australian Open," he said.

"It is a tournament that everyone wants to win. Kids are always holing these putts to win the Australian Open, at least if they are Australian.

"To get my name on it twice in a row is fantastic. It proves it wasn't a fluke last time."

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