Peter Senior defies Father Time and Mother Nature to win Open

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert


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    While the rest of the field at The Lakes really struggled in atrocious conditions yesterday, Peter Senior told Mother Nature to take a hike as he clinched his second Australia Open in 23 years.

    Play had been suspended for just over three hours late in the morning while an 80kph howling southerly swept across the course bringing down a Channel 7 television tower and sponsorship signs, as well as uprooting commercial tents.

    Carnage. But not for the old bloke.

    What’s age?

    It’s just a birthday with another number if you watched the chunky 53-year-old with a spring in his step become the oldest Australian Open champion, a decade older than Peter Thomson when he won his third national title in 1972.

    And there’s another strong link between Senior and Thomson whose career long belief was treat the wind as your friend, don’t fight it.

    Senior didn’t fight it, he just kept plonking his tee shots down the middle, and spent 18 holes giving a superb exhibition of chipping and putting to card two birdies and two bogeys for an even par 72 in a gusting 50 kph gale to win by a shot over compatriot Brendan Jones.

    Few could recall worse conditions, and it was a miracle the Open finished as darkness set in at 8pm with the floodlights around the 18th green.

    For Senior, the win was more than his national title and his 30th success around the world, it was the first with his son Mitchell who has been on the bag for two years.

    Five times Dad’s been in a winning position on the USPGA Champions tour, only to finish second, losing three of them in play-offs.

    Not yesterday, it was a family day with wife and mother June trudging through the elements willing them home.

    It would be hard to find a more popular win in Australian sport when the media starts reviewing 2012 at the end of the month.

    Peter Senior found that inner strength and belief that the likes of world-ranked Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy, and especially third-round leader by two strokes John Senden couldn’t find as he ploughed his way to a final round 10-over 82.

    The Australian Open 2012 will hold a special place in the Senior household where the patriarch lives for his golf.

    His secret?

    “When I wake up every morning I look forward to playing golf”.

    That dedication, and the dedicated support he has around him every day, is the key to Peter Senior.

    Yesterday was the proof.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn?t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world?s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (5)

    • December 10th 2012 @ 8:21am
      Johnno said | December 10th 2012 @ 8:21am | ! Report

      We all grew up with Peter Senior, I used to love the glory days, of Peter senior and Roger Davis.
      But in a way yesterday’s victory I saw actually as a negative much like the decline of aussy tennis.
      Aussy golden generation of the 1980’s and 1990’s which peter Senior was a part of. So too see a 80’s and 90’s man carve up in 2012 and win is a worry, much like aussy tennis still relying on Hewitt and always reminiscing about the glory days of the 80’s and 90’s.
      The 80’s and 90’s produced so many magnificent golfers with many of them first turning pro int he 1970’s people. People like Peter Senior, and Norman turned pro in the 70’s , Peter senior’s first pro year was 1978.

      But the glory days of Australian golf in the 80’s and 90’s, led of course by the Great White Shark Greg Norman of course, Bob Shearer David Graham, Peter Senior,Roger Davis, Roger Mackay, IBF Ian Baker-FInch,Graham Marsh, Mike Harwood Wayne Grady, Steve Elkington, Craig Parry, Lucas Parsons, Brett Ogle, Robert Allenby, Stuart Appelbey,so much talent we had.

      We have only in the last 10 years produced 3 world class golfers, Adam Scott, and Aoran Baddley, Geoff Ogilvy and none else really.

      And Sandy Roberts the tradition continues, is still commentating the golf as he was yesterday, a 70’s and 80’s man in his prime , shows how little golf has progressed in OZ since the end of the 90’s in Australia.

      • Columnist

        December 10th 2012 @ 10:43am
        Tim Prentice said | December 10th 2012 @ 10:43am | ! Report

        I did not view Senior’s incredible win yesterday as regressive in any way for Australian golf.
        Moreover, I regarded it as a triumph for a seasoned old pro, a man whose love and dedication to the sport should be viewed as an inspiration, a template, for the young brigade.
        We have some outstanding talent bubbling to the surface. They are itching for the chance to burst through and claim some ‘majors.’ Senior’s victory would have been noted by each one of them and hopefully, they make it their business to follow his example.
        Yesterday’s conditions were atrocious and it took a special type of sportsman to master them and card an even par 72, finishing in artificial light.
        Well done Peter Senior.
        You can’t teach this old dog new tricks. He already knows them all . . .

        • Columnist

          December 10th 2012 @ 10:53am
          Ryan O'Connell said | December 10th 2012 @ 10:53am | ! Report

          “I regarded it as a triumph for a seasoned old pro, a man whose love and dedication to the sport should be viewed as an inspiration, a template, for the young brigade.”

          Couldn’t agree more, Tim.

          • Columnist

            December 10th 2012 @ 11:12am
            Tim Prentice said | December 10th 2012 @ 11:12am | ! Report

            And, Ryan, there was nothing wrong with watching the incredible Tom Watson in action at our testing Lakes layout.
            Before the weather turned ugly yesterday, he fired a brilliant 69 – three under par – which was an astonishing effort for a 63-year-old.
            These old guys are truly amazing. They continue to work hard on their skills, and they continue to attract the large galleries and offer advice and guidance to the stars of tomorrow.
            Over to you Kelly Slater. A 12th world surfing title? Why not?

    • Roar Guru

      December 10th 2012 @ 11:48am
      langou said | December 10th 2012 @ 11:48am | ! Report

      When the conditions turn horrible, it becomes less about how far you can hit the ball or how much spin you can put on the ball and more about poise, mental strength and having a consistent swing. It takes age out the equation a bit. I doubt any Australian golf fans would’ve felt anything but admiration for one of the greats of Australian golf (great player and great bloke).

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