Former US PGA Tour regular Peter Lonard is looking for vindication while Ewan Porter just wants to keep it simple in his return from an 18-month break at the NSW Open starting on Thursday.
Lonard last won the tournament in 2004, right before he won the Australian Open and Australian PGA Championship.
This week the 47-year-old veteran aims to get his game on track after a rough year on the secondary Web深圳桑拿网会所, Tour in the US.
Despite some good tee-to-green play, ranking eighth on tour for greens in regulation, Lonard struggled on the greens averaging 1.824 putts per hole or 135th on the tour.
“I’m not quite as good as I used to be, a little rough around the edges,” Lonard said.
“My tee to green I am good. My chipping is not great and my putting I was always hot and cold with that.
“I just don’t score like I used to which comes back to the short game. I’m just not quite there, which really hurts on the par fives.”
Australia has always been where Lonard has been at his best and he hopes the Greg Norman-designed Stonecutters Ridge course in western Sydney is playing nice and firm to boost his chances.
“This course is a little wider off the tees but the beauty of it is you have to hit a little closer to the trouble to get a better shot into the greens,” he said.
While Lonard is back with a full season behind him, Porter has taken a sabbatical.
The former highly-touted junior fell out of love with the game and wrote a controversial book on his on tour escapades.
Now back at the NSW Open on an invitation, it seems he is finally at peace with his game and keen to simplify things.
“I don’t want to over-analyse because that’s what burnt me out basically,” Porter said.
“If I play like I did as a kid, enjoy it, I’m sure everything else will fall into place.
“There’s going to be rust, there is going to be nerves, but I think if I make the cut that will be a good start back.”
Lonard is looking for more after working so hard to fight back from a back injury in 2008 that threatened his career.
“Top 20 would be great, top 10 would be better,” said the veteran, before adding he’d like one more big win down under.
“Mentally a win would be good for me.
“When I did my back I wanted to get back, spent a lot of time working hard and a hell of a lot of money trying to get back.
“Financially that money is probably gone, but the satisfaction to get back something for a lot of hard work would be really satisfying to me.
“Yeah, one would be lovely.”
LAST 10 NSW OPEN WINNERS
(No tournament in 2012; *denotes playing this year)
2013 Aron Price*
2011 Adam Crawford*
2010 Peter O’Malley
2009 Leigh McKechnie*
2008 Aaron Townsend
2007 Jason Norris
2006 Rick Kulacz
2005 Michael Wright
2004 Peter Lonard *
2003 Craig Carmichael