Two-Time Australian Open Champion The Latest Pro To Break 60 - Even With A Bogey At The Last!

Peter Lonard managed to shoot 59 on the PGA Legends Tour in Australia despite dropping a shot on his final hole

Peter Lonard
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The sub-60 rounds in professional golf just keep on coming, this time with veteran Peter Lonard carding the first ever 59 on the PGA Legends Tour in Australia - even though he bogeyed the last!

There's already been a flurry of sub-60 rounds even in the early part of the year, with Joaquin Niemann shooting 59 to win the LIV Golf event in Mexico and fellow Chilean Cristobal del Solar hitting a 57 on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Lonard won the Moama Masters at Rich River Golf Club in New South Wales by just a shot despite shooting his 59 in the closing round. 

The two-time Australian Open champion and three-time winner of the Australian PGA Championship had previously shot 60 twice over 20 years ago, but at age 56 managed the magical 59.

And it could have been one better had he not found the bunker on his final hole, the par-three ninth, that led to his closing bogey.

Despite a brilliant round it was still a nervy end for Lonard, as he had to hole a six-footer not only to card the memorable 59 but also to claim the title by just a single stroke.

“It was a bit of a day today,” said Lonard, who started the day nine shots off the lead.

“Yesterday I was never playing again, giving up golf and getting a job and today all of a sudden I’m back, I love the game and everything’s happy.

“It’s a funny game. Sometimes it gives it to you and sometimes it doesn’t.

“It’s the first time I’ve had a 59. I’ve had a couple of other goes at it. I parred the last in Sao Paulo years ago for a 60 and at the Jack Newton Classic at Twin Waters I missed a putt for a 59.

“I was very happy to see that last putt go in.”

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Lonard ended the tournament on eight under, winning by a shot from John Onions, who closed with a 63 to finish on seven under.

American Shaquill Mongol and England’s Ben Jackson could have drawn level with Lonard had they not both bogeyed their final hole, while an eventful tournament also saw Simon Tooman produce a hole-in-one.

But it was Lonard's round that was the highlight, as he blazed a trail with six birdies in his first nine holes.

A hat-trick of birdie early in his back nine maintained the momentum, and when he also picked up shots on the seventh and eighth holes (his 16th and 17th) he need just a par on the last for a 58.

That wasn't to be, but Lonard still walked away with the title and a slice of Australian golfing history.

Paul Higham
Contributor

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.