Date: December 11, 2008
Author: Adam Lucius, Sportal

Ace puts Senden in touch

John Senden&aposs love affair with Royal Sydney deepened during the opening round of the Australia Open on Thursday after the 2006 winner aced the 14th hole on his way to an impressive three-under 69. The likeable Queenslander&aposs eighth hole-in-one in competition has him well placed to make a run for the title he captured at the Rose Bay course two years ago. Senden was placed equal third behind Kiwi duo David Smail and Mark Brown (both 67) after the morning session. Talking through his hole-in-one on the par three, 173m 14th, Senden explained: “I was hoping to be right at the flag and when it landed it went over the little slope and I didn&apost see it go in.” “It was a surprise and everyone was jumping up and down at the back of the green.” “It was a great start .everyone loves a hole in one, right?” Senden&aposs only regret was that there was no bonus on offer for acing the 14th as had been the case in all his previous holes-in-one. “I got nothing for them, not even a bottle of wine,” he smiled. Teeing off in calm, overcast conditions, Senden began sensationally to be four-under after five holes. He then lost focus, collecting bogeys on three of his next six holes before steadying with six consecutive pars. While rueing his erratic streak in the middle stages, Senden was well pleased with his opening round on a course he&aposd love to tuck into his back pocket and take around the world. “Sitting here three-under, I am happy with the result and I&aposll keep on building to be in contention on Sunday,” he said. “I got off to a hot start and felt pretty good all day.” “It&aposs got to go down as one of my favourite golf clubs in Australia. I&aposve got to be feeling good about everything coming in here.” “You go around here knowing you can win and you&aposve got to keep believing that and keep working hard to see if you&aposre knocking on the door at the end of the week.” “There&aposs a dozen players here that are showing form that (is) world class.” “You&aposve got to hope you are one of those players and I can do the same job as a couple of years ago.”