Lonard Tries to Win Aussie Grand Slam

By Golf Channel NewsroomDecember 8, 2004, 5:00 pm
The buzz everywhere in Australia this week is Peter Lonard trying to make a clean sweep of the Australian Grand Slam when he goes after the MasterCard Masters in Melbourne (Rd. 1 TGC, Thurs. at 12:30 a.m. ET).
The Grand Slam is composed of three events, the Australian Open, the Australian PGA and this one. Lonard already has won the Aussie Open and the PGA.
It will be nice to do it (win the Grand Slam), but I don't think my life depends on it,' he said. 'Pressure-wise, I don't think it's that big a deal. Maybe with nine holes to go and if I'm in with a chance, my heart might be pumping a bit quicker than normal. But outside that, it's just normal.'
Lonard, despite winning the past two weeks, will not have a chance to win the Australian Order of Merit (money title). He did not play in four tournaments as required because of a rib injury which kept him from the Heineken Classic early in the year. He found out earlier this week that the Australian PGA has disallowed his request for a medical exemption.
So now he will have to be content with the knowledge that he will almost certainly win the money title, be it official or not. Unfortunately for Lonard, the winner of the Aussie Order of Merit is automatically invited to the U.S. and British Opens.
Lonard missed the cut in 11 of 23 events in the U.S. this year. But his swing is starting to return to what he wants it to be.
'My ball-striking has been pretty ordinary all year and it's just starting to come back,' he said. 'Two or three months ago I started to get on the right track. Even though I was missing cuts, you still know when you're on the verge (of improving).
Robert Allenby is the events defending champion. And he says Lonard will have a tough time making in three in a row.
'He's played very well the last three weeks, but it's a lot harder for him to win this tournament than anyone else because of the pressure that's actually on him to try to win four in a row and three of the big ones on the main tour,' Allenby said. 'But he's won here before, he knows the place. He's definitely the one to beat.'
No golfer has won the Aussie Grand Slam since its inception in 1979.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - MasterCard Masters
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Watch that time Tiger throttled Ames, 9 and 8

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2018, 4:54 pm

    Nine and eight. Three words that live in golf lore. Just say them and any golf fan can tell you what they mean.

    In the 2006 WGC-Match Play, Tiger Woods faced Stephen Ames in the opening round. Ames, when asked prior to the event about his chance of winning, infamously said, "Anything can happen, especially where he's hitting it."

    What happened on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at La Coasta Resort & Spa, was the most lopsided result in tournament history: 9 and 8 Check out the highlights below:

    After his win, Woods was asked if Ames' comment had motivated him. Woods replied, "9 and 8."

    Woods eventually lost, 1 up, to Chad Campbell in the third round. He then won his next start at Doral and went on to finish the season with six consecutive Tour wins, including The Open and PGA. He also won his first start in 2007 to make it seven consecutive Tour titles.

    Getty Images

    Schedule change, caddie change for Casey at Match Play

    By Rex HoggardMarch 20, 2018, 4:12 pm

    AUSTIN, Texas – Paul Casey originally planned to skip the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, opting for two weeks off before the Masters.

    Those plans changed when he removed the Arnold Palmer Invitational from his schedule and returned home to England last week to attend the funeral of a family friend. That adjustment also prompted a caddie change this week, with Scott Vail stepping in for the Englishman’s normal caddie, John McLaren.

    WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Tee times

    WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos

    “We looked at tickets and it just didn't make sense for Johnny to fly back. We try and base our schedule around playing the best golf possible, but also having quality family time,” Casey said on Tuesday at Austin Country Club. “For Johnny to break up a nice three-week break with his family, there was no point to ruining that.”

    This isn’t the first time Casey, who won the Valspar Championship two weeks ago, has needed a replacement caddie. At last year’s Travelers Championship, McLaren took a similar break and was replaced on the bag by Shannon Wallace. Although it’s not uncommon for caddies to take a week off, McLaren does have one stipulation.

    “The only rule we have is that if Johnny is not going to work, he picks my caddie. So he picked the caddie,” said Casey, who is 20-12-1 in 12 starts at the Match Play and has advanced to the championship match twice.

    Westchester Country Club hosted the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship. (Getty) Getty Images

    Westchester selected to host 2021 U.S. Women's Am

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2018, 3:20 pm

    The USGA announced Tuesday that Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., has been selected to host the 2021 U.S. Women's Amateur. The tournament will be held Aug. 2-8, 2021.

    The club's West Course first hosted the event in 1923, and it boasts a storied history of professional tournaments as well. The PGA Tour hosted the Westchester Classic, later known as the Buick Classic and eventually The Barclays, at Westchester from 1967-2007, including the first-ever FedExCup playoff event, won by Steve Stricker in 2007.

    The course was also the site of the 2011 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, won by Fred Couples, and the 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship, won by Inbee Park.

    "The USGA is thrilled to bring the U.S. Women's Amateur to Westchester Country Club for the second time," Stuart Francis, USGA championship committee chairman, said in a release. "One of the USGA's three oldest championships, the Women's Amateur consistently identifies the world's top female players, and we are confident Westchester will provide the ultimate test for the championship's 121st playing."

    First held in 1895, the Women's Amateur is open to players with a USGA handicap index not exceeding 5.4. Sophia Schubert won last year's event at San Diego Country Club, while this year's tournament will be held at The Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs.

    Getty Images

    Stock Watch: Park rises again, under the radar

    By Ryan LavnerMarch 20, 2018, 12:48 pm

    Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.


    Rory (+10%): The massive drives, the fist pumps, the unmistakable strut – McIlroy finally found the spark that he needed to play confident, aggressive golf. Bring on Augusta and his shot at history.

    Tiger (+7%): It was another forgettable end to a final round, but let’s not lose sight of the big picture: Five events into his comeback, Woods has now carded 10 consecutive rounds of par or better – all on tough tracks – and can be viewed as a legitimate threat at the Masters. Remarkable, really.

    Inbee Park (+5%): Fighting injuries and questioning whether she should retire, the Queen ‘Bee routed a top field in just her second start back. Stud.

    Bryson (+3%): When The Machine operates properly, he’s one of the best ball-strikers in the world. Yes, he’s still painfully slow, but there’s no denying his talent – his runner-up against a star-studded field should help him tremendously.

    Laura Davies (+2%): Fifty-four years old and nursing an Achilles injury, she turned back the clock with one of the coolest performances of the young season, on any tour. She’s still got tons of game.


    Henrik Stenson (-1%): Maybe he’s just destined to go winless at Bay Hill. In the past four years, he’s had three excellent chances to win there and came away empty-handed each time.

    Rickie (-2%): Hanging near the lead, Fowler closed his third round bogey-double, then shot 74 in the final round to drop out of the top 10. Sigh.  

    P-Reed (-3%): His whiny protest to a rules official about a free drop – “I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth” – got even juicier when the Ryder Cup partners were drawn in the same group at the Match Play. Get your popcorn ready.

    Ted Potter Jr. (-5%): His impressive victory at Pebble Beach over DJ, Phil and J-Day is looking more and more like a fluke each week. He’s now missed four consecutive cuts.

    Fan behavior (-7%): Another week, another player complaining about increasingly hostile spectators. The Tour has (frustratingly) remained quiet on the issue, but the tipping point will come when one of these dopes affects the outcome on the 72nd hole.