Lonard can win a major: Newton - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lonard can win a major: Newton

By Wayne Heming 16/12/2002 07:50:03 PM Comments (0)

Australian golf's man of the moment Peter Lonard had the maturity to win a major, according to respected commentator and tournament host Jack Newton.

Lonard, who captured Australian golf's golden double of the Australian PGA (which he created history by sharing with Jarrod Moseley) at Coolum and the Australian Masters at Huntingdale will close off his most successful year in Newton's 36-hole celebrity Pro-am starting at Twins Waters Resort tomorrow.

Newton believes Lonard's game has improved to the point where he is now strong enough to win a major if he can putt well for four days.

Newton also warned rising young Australian star Aaron Baddeley to quickly ditch the "Tiger trait" of swinging his club in anger which he did on several occasions during the PGA Championship at Coolum, where he had his infamous fluffed tap-in putt.

"Aaron is cool, calm and collected most of the time but then you see him hit a bad shot and then swing the club back the other way, which is a Tiger trait," said Newton.

"It's very unusual. I've seen him play since he was 13 or 14 in junior golf and I've never seen him get like that.

"At the PGA, he was off the air.

"I thought to myself at the PGA when he did it 'the yanks will laugh him off the golf course if he comes with that caper'.

"As soon the the top yanks see him doing that they'll say 'he's gone, that's one I don't have to beat'."

Newton believes Lonard can carry his great form, in which he made 23 of 24 cuts on the US Tour this year, into 2003 and have a genuine shot at winning one of the four majors, if not next season, then in the years ahead.

"I thought his form in the majors this year spoke for itself," said Newton, who lost a British Open play to American Tom Watson at Carnoustie in the early 1980s.

"I really think he can win a major if he has a good run with the putter.

"Peter's matured while kids like Baddeley and (Adam) Scott are still wet behind the ears.

"Peter has played a lot of golf in Europe and I just think he is starting to realise how good he is.

"He never hits wild shots, that's one of his strongest points. Not a lot can go wrong with his golf swing, it's very tidy, and he is as strong as an ox."

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