Peter Senior re-wrote the history books at the weekend when becoming the oldest man to win the Australian Open.
The 53-year-old Australian, who surpasses the record set by a 43-year-old Peter Thomson, defied a three-hour suspension in play at The Lakes due to the 80km/h winds with an exceptional final-round 72 to prevail by one shot on 4-under.
Standing proudly under the spotlights on 18 while raising aloft the Stonehaven Cup he last won in 1989, Senior confessed that although he did not bring his A-game to Sydney, his short game more than made amends.
“I did not play particularly well this week but I got it up and down all week and today was no exception,” said Senior, who topped the field in putts per round with his trusty broom putter with a stellar 24 putts per round average.
“The key to today's round was that I never put any pressure on myself with the putts. The chips and bunker shots were pretty close and were just tap-ins. I really did not have to work hard knocking four and five footers in across the breeze.”
With many of the leading contenders falling at the final hurdle, with the last group of John Senden and Justin Rose shooting a combined 12-over, the Champions Tour veteran explained the brutal weekend conditions suited his game down to the ground.
“These are the conditions I thrive in – had they been good I think the really good players would have shone through,” added the Champions Tour veteran, who also became the oldest player to win the Australian PGA when defeating Geoff Ogilvy in a playoff two years ago.
“Winning the PGA a couple of years ago at Coolum was great, but I tell you what, nothing beats winning this one.”
Senior has had ten top-ten finishes on the Champions Tour this year, but no wins, which made yesterday’s victory – with his son Mitch caddying – all the more special.
“It doesn’t get any better than this. We’ve had three years on the Champions Tour, where Mitch has caddied for me for the last two years, and we’ve lost three playoffs, so it feels unbelievable to win with him on the bag.”
Australian Open Final Leaderboard
-4 P Senior (Aus)
-3 B Jones (Aus)
-2 C Percy (Aus)
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