Peter Lonard has bolted out of the gates in his Senior Tour debut with a T3 finish at the Senior Open in Wales.

Lonard turned 50 just two weeks ago and made his first start on the over 50’s circuit at one of the game’s five majors making an immediate impression by playing his way into the last group Sunday.

Paired with major winners Corey Pavin and Bernhard Langer at Royal Porthcawl, Lonard held his own in elite company to shoot an even par final round and share third with Billy Andrade and Fred Couples.

While an impressive start Lonard will be somewhat disappointed with his finish after finding the green in two at the par-5 18th but three putting for a costly par.

While victory was out of the question at that stage he could have shared second and picked up a considerably larger cheque.

However, despite the stumble he has already assumed top spot among the Australians on the European Seniors Order of Merit, the cheque for €82,694 vaulting him to ninth.

While Lonard hogged the headlines on the final day another Australian making his over 50’s debut also impressed in Wales, David McKenzie finishing next best Australian at T9.

Mckenzie celebrated his 50th birthday the Wednesday of tournament week and made the most of the celebrations with rounds of 73-73-71-69 to be 2-over for the week, an ace at the par-3 12th Sunday the highlight of an excellent week.

With only two players finished in red figures for the 72-holes it was an impressive start for the Victorian who has been one of Australia’s most widely travelled Professionals.

Peter Fowler was the last of the Australians in the top 20 with a T15 result, Mike Harwood (T57) and Terry Price (81st) the last of the Australians to make the cut.

Glenn Joyner missed the weekend by a shot while Peter O’Malley was two outside the number.