Date: December 13, 2007
Author: Adam Lucius at The Australian

Bonhomme impresses despite spelling error

Andrew Bonhomme had a simple request after making a rare press conference appearance following his opening day 67 at the MFS Australian Open on Thursday. “Can you make sure you spell my name right. Everywhere else they&aposve got it wrong,” he smiled ruefully. While organisers may have afforded him a superfluous &aposl&apos and robbed him of a &aposm&apos on leaderboards and caddy bibs, Bonhomme finished Thursday better known than when he started. His impressive five-under round, which included eight birdies, gave him a share of the clubhouse lead with Robert Allenby in overcast conditions at The Australian. It may prove the start of something big for the affable Bonhomme, who recently qualified for the 2008 US Nationwide Tour. The Goondiwindi golfer is a real journeyman of the game, eking out an existence in pro-ams and low-profile tournaments in between attempts to earn tour cards to more exotic destinations. His career earnings stand at just $386,551.90 after 14 years as a pro. Bonhomme jokes he could always fall back on his other qualification – cutlery and cleaning engineer – if things ever got really tough on the golfing circuit. The 35-year-old&aposs financial pressures should be alleviated next year when he joins the US Nationwide Tour, but he is desperate for a big finish to the year at his national championship. “Coming down here I felt a bit better about things. I hadn&apost really been in the groove the last three weeks but today it fell back in,” he said. “I&aposve had a pretty good year but I&aposd like to finish strongly by playing well this week.” Bonhomme had a brief taste of life near the top of the Australian Open leaderboard in 2000 when he was fourth going into the final round at Kingston Heath. He faded away and has made spasmodic appearances since. “I haven&apost played a lot of Australian Opens. I&aposve been a pro for 14-15 years and every year (at this time of the year) I&aposve been at a tour school trying to get to the next level,” he explained. “This would be a great way to finish off and set me up for financially for next year on the Nationwide.” “That&aposs going to be pretty expensive. That&aposs probably going to be a $75-100,000 exercise.” “I&aposve done as well as you can do domestically. I&aposve won all the four rounders that meant something.” “I&aposve won some fifty granders, I&aposve won a couple of hundred granders but it costs a lot of money to have a wife and two children.” “You can never make enough.” Simone Bonhomme may well tug on her husband&aposs purse strings but without her advice it&aposs doubtful hubby would have been sitting at Thursday&aposs press conference. It was at his wife&aposs suggestion that Bonhomme switched to a long punter and saw his fortunes change dramatically. “My wife convinced me to go the long putter just over a year ago and she probably deserves a few presents for it,” he revealed. “I&aposve always been a streaky putter and I changed to the long putter and I think that&aposs helped the rest of my game flourish.” “I think I&aposm finally working out how to get the best out of myself.” “It&aposs taken a long time.”