Peter Lonard, the latest Australian to enjoy success on the US PGA Tour, is returning to The European Tour International Schedule to challenge for the BMW Championship – the PGA Championship – on the West Course at Wentworth Club, Surrey, England, on May 26-29.
Lonard, who won the MCI Heritage at Hilton Head Island a week ago, will seek to become the third Australian to capture the prestigious title at Wentworth following the successes of Rodger Davis (1986) and Mike Harwood (1990).
Lonard said: “The West at Wentworth is one of my favourite courses, and like all other golfers I’d love to get my hands on the trophy. I had a run at the title in 1998 when I shot a second round of 65 to be one behind at halfway, but that was the year Colin Montgomerie won the title.”
The 37 year old from Sydney is enjoying the best spell of his career – he turned professional in 1989 – with a superb hat-trick of wins on the PGA Tour of Australasia at the end of 2004 in the New South Wales Open, the Hillross Australian Open (he defended the title) and the Cadburys Schweppes Australian PGA Championship being followed by his success in the MCI Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links.
Lonard, who has played in 166 European Tour events, said: “That was my first win on the American Tour, and I would love nothing more than my first win on The European Tour to be in the BMW Championship. It’s the flagship event and it would be great to hold two PGA titles at the same time.”
Ernie Els, Luke Donald and Padraig Harrington will, like Lonard, be seeking to win for the first time the BMW Championship for which Scott Drummond is the defending champion.
The corporate automotive brand BMW and The European Tour announced their new partnership in the BMW Championship in January and tickets for the 156-strong field, 72-hole stroke play event are available both online (www.ticketmaster.co.uk) and via the ticket hotline +44 (0)1782 742998. The phone lines will be open from 0900 to 1700 Monday to Friday.