Date: December 07, 2007
Author: Andrew Browne at Coolum

Lonard not happy with form

They may be well in contention at the halfway mark of the Cadbury Schweppes Australian PGA Championship being played at Coolum, but straight-talking South African Rory Sabbatini and playing partner and two-time winner Peter Lonard are still far from satisfied with their current form. Sabbatini fired a second round 67 at the Hyatt Regency Course to be at nine-under heading into the weekend and admitted it should have been a whole lot better. “All things considered, I&aposm scoring well but not very happy with my game,” he said after Friday&aposs round. “I&aposve driven the ball well and just made too many mistakes from there. I left quite a few shots out there so I could have been 13 or 14-under for two rounds.” “It may be the jet lag but it has been three days so there&aposs no excuse for those mental errors. I just need to refocus tomorrow.” The 31-year-old denied his forward showing was in order to justify his appearance fee and explained the only expectations he had this week was with his &aposball striking.&apos “I&aposm a competitor who likes to win so I am trying to win the golf tournament,” he replied firmly when again pressed about the money. “My only expectations are when it comes to my ball striking I consider myself to be a good ball striker. I&aposm just a little frustrated missing greens with wedges and things like that are unacceptable for me.” Sabbatini&aposs playing partner Peter Lonard also felt &aposunderwhelmed&apos following his second round 69 to be level with the South African. “It wasn&apost very good – every time I made a birdie I made a bogey to match it,” commented the usually honest Lonard who actually recorded six birdies and three bogeys in Friday&aposs round. “It was perfect conditions and there was no reason not to shoot a good score today. “All the greens have a fair bounce on them at the moment – a fair bit more than in previous years anyway so it was a little bit harder to get close.” Predictions of a winning score around 22-under will depend a lot on the wind if it arrives and Lonard agreed with his partner that both players should have been in better positions heading into the weekend. “I think it can happen (22-under) if we get a couple more nice days,” said the dual champion. The third member of the group Stuart Appleby could not replicate the form of his playing partners and will be missing from Coolum for the final two rounds after missing the cut at plus five. While a lot of been spoken about Sabbatini prior to the PGA, Lonard gave the South African&aposs behaviour an A+ over the first two days. “I saw them (Appleby and Sabbatini) hug a couple of times out there today,” he joked. “They got on alright. It was a very happy threesome.” Sabbatini in fact showing empathy for Appleby&aposs dismal form. “You could see that Stuart was struggling,” he said. “You want to let him have his space and work on things so you just give the guy (some) room.”