Daly fined over outburst at Australian PGA
by Dennis Passa
COOLUM, Australia (AP)?
This sudden-death playoff never quite lived up to its billing.
When fading light late Sunday afternoon meant that Peter Lonard and Jarrod Moseley could hardly see their approach shots into the green, the two Australian golfers playing extra holes for the Australian PGA title decided that the best result was no result.
So the two mates shook hands, split the prize money and both had their names engraved on the championship trophy, sharing the title.
After both players parred the first playoff hole - the par-4, 390-meter 18th, an Australasian PGA tour official approached the pair to see if they wanted to continue playing, be declared joint champions, or return on Monday to finish the playoff.
Both players, despite some calls from the gallery to "Keep playing," decided to split the first and second prize money of US$156,000. It was the first time in the 97-year history of the tournament that joint winners were declared.
Lonard, who trailed Moseley by five strokes going into the final round, shot a closing 68 while Moseley had a 73, giving both players 17-under-par totals of 271 over the par-72 Hyatt Regency resort course.
"I'm happy with that," Moseley said after the players made the decision to stop. "It's a bit unfortunate, but we've got commitments tomorrow."
"It's too dark now, I couldn't even see my approach in the playoff," said Lonard, who had laser surgery on his eyes last year and said he was basically "blind as a bat."
"By the time we tried to play another hole, it would have been impossible on the green."
Australasian PGA tour operations director Andrew Langford-Jones said the decision was left to the players.
"It was definitely too dark to continue, so unless they wanted to come back first thing in the morning, it made sense to have it end this way, with a gallery," said Langford-Jones.
Moseley looked like he had a start-to-finish win in regulation when he led by a stroke on 18. But Lonard sank a 60-foot birdie putt - "I couldn't even see it at the end," said Lonard - that pulled him into a tie and forced the players to go back up the fairway.
On the playoff hole, Lonard's 15-footer for birdie fell just inches short and he tapped in. Moments later, Lonard made a three-footer for par.
Stuart Appleby, with a closing 67, finished alone in third, three strokes back of Moseley and Lonard. Greg Norman bogeyed the 18th to finish with a 69 and in fourth place, five off the pace.
Lonard and Moseley were among 24 players who had to finish their third round on Sunday morning after storms forced an early stop to play Saturday. The leaders were at the practice range at 5:30 a.m. and after a 90-minute storm delay on Sunday, spent more than 13 hours on the Hyatt Regency resort layout.
Lonard and Moseley, who were co-leaders after the first round, had played eight holes in the final group of the day when play was suspended Sunday with Moseley still holding a three-stroke lead. After the suspension, Lonard caught Moseley on the 12th.
Within minutes of play resuming, Lonard birdied the ninth to pull within two shots of the lead. Moseley then three-putted the par-3 11th to cut his lead to just one over Lonard.
Moseley was down in a gully for his third shot on 12 but his chip only reached the top of the green before rolling back down past where he had made his initial shot from. His fourth shot went six feet past the hole, but he made the putt for par while Lonard pulled into a tie for the lead with a tap-in birdie.
Moseley regained the lead on 16 when Lonard missed a seven-foot putt for par.
The win was Moseley's second as a professional - his previous came in the 1999 Heineken Classic in Perth, Australia. He had six top-10 finishes in Europe this year.
Lonard has three previous Australasian PGA tour wins. He teamed with U.S. PGA champion Rich Beem to win the Hyundai Team Matches in November in California.