Date: November 28, 2006
Author: Ben Wise

Senden looks ahead

By Ben Wise, Sportal With a week to reflect since his MFS Australian Open triumph, John Senden maintains that it&aposs his biggest win and is sure it will provide the impetus for him to challenge the game&aposs elite. Senden, who admitted to feeling lethargic after finishing tied for 14th in the MasterCard Masters on Sunday, is back in Brisbane until Friday. He then heads to Barbados – via his home in Dallas – to represent Australia in the World Cup with Mark Hensby from December 4-10. But as a long golfing year draws to a close for the world No.73, Senden revealed it was his victory at Royal Sydney which gave him the boost he needed to head back to the US Tour in 2007 and improve on the career-best 45th on the US money list (US$1.65 million) he achieved this year. “The Australian Open win was absolutely (the biggest), it feels good still,” Senden told Sportal. “I think (it has improved my confidence for next year), yes. The US Tour was good this year, I need to take that win and learn from what I did this year to keep on building for my performances next year.” “If you go over there (to the US) and set your goals higher and higher, and each year I have been going like this (improving), you have to keep on working even harder. I had my best year over there this year, and I have got to try and improve that again.” “You are never guaranteed that but you always try to work hard to get to that next level. It doesn&apost matter how good you get, that is what Tiger Woods does.” Senden claimed his first victory on the US Tour this year in the John Deere Classic, which prompted personal congratulations from golf legends Greg Norman and world No.1 Tiger Woods, but the MFS Australian Open win secured him more world ranking points. And Senden admits that he was fully aware of the value of winning Australia&aposs national championship. “Exactly, it&aposs all-important all the points and I am hoping to get into the top-50 and all the major tournaments next year.” Other than targeting a higher world ranking next year and beyond, Senden is aiming to play in more majors, win a major, and be a long-term member of the US Tour. “The next level for me is major championships. I have only played in three major championships in my life,” Senden said. “My game is good enough (to win a major), I just need to keep the discipline with wanting to get there and really working hard to get to that next level. And producing what I am doing now mentally, and take that to a major championship and being comfortable with what I have to do there.” “I would love to win a major, it is a goal I have written down. I have also set a goal to be on the US Tour for another 10 years in that time hopefully I will get to where I want to be and play majors and possibly win one.” One person who agrees that Senden has not yet reached his full potential is 1991 British Open champion and now respected commentator in the US, Ian Baker-Finch. “I think (that John Deere Classic win) will be the first of many for John. I think he&aposs a very good player and I think he&aposs taken a while to realise it himself,” Baker-Finch said.