Date: November 19, 2006
Author: Luke Buttigieg

Dream come true for Senden

By Luke Buttigieg, Sportal Queenslander John Senden has described his MFS Australian Open victory at Royal Sydney as a &aposdream come true&apos. Senden had already enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2006 by capturing his maiden US PGA Tour victory at the John Deere Classic, but the 35-year-old admitted he didn&apost finish off his season in America as well as he&aposd have liked to. All that was forgotten on Sunday afternoon though when Senden charged home with a course record seven-under 65 to finish over the top of the likes of US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy and 2001 Australian Open winner Stuart Appleby and cap his year. “It was a dream come true, definitely,” he said. “We&aposve (he and coach Ian Triggs) been working damn hard to try and get the golf swing in order and keep on building as a player and as a person, as a professional.” “It&aposs hard to believe really because from the way I felt Thursday in those conditions, I&aposm thinking, &aposoh, just keep your head on and try and come in with a reasonable score&apos.” “And then to turn it around on the last three days was special and it really hasn&apost sunk in yet but it was a special day. This is more special, winning your national Open,” he added when asked to compare his Open and John Deere Classic wins. “Winning any event in Australia is great. I&aposve come close before, last year I missed out by a shot from Robert and to go one better this year and finish birdie, birdie, it was a special day and it felt great.” While Senden claimed the biggest triumph of his career without his wife Jackie by his side, as she was back home helping her parents on their farm outside of Bourke, he was also delighted to have won in such elite company. Ogilvy said after finishing just one stroke back in outright second that the final top 10 that also included names like world No.4 Adam Scott, Brett Rumford and Aaron Baddeley wouldn&apost have looked out of place on any of the world&aposs leaderboards. “Yeah that was nice, it was one of those things where I knew I had to be calm coming down the stretch and just hit quality golf shots because I knew I didn&apost want to give up, I wanted to hit the shots and make at least one birdie coming down the stretch,” he said. “Looking at the leaderboard, it was world-class. All those guys that were in the top 10 at the start of the day are all inside top 100 in the world possibly and Adam Scott being No.4 and Geoff (Ogilvy) being No.10 I think.” “I&aposm proud to say that I come up on top from those guys in the field, it was great and it was a credit to everyone involved.” Now that he has won both in the United States and in Australia, Senden is setting his sights firmly on the world&aposs top 50 and being a regular player of the majors each year. “When I won the tournament this year in America I sort of had the goal set of top 30 on the money list and top 50 world ranking and it was a little bit slow the second half of the year,” he said. “Finishing off a year with the national Open, now I feel I can go to another level and get top 50 world ranking and get into the majors and play the tournaments that all my friends are playing out on the US Tour and it&aposll be great to be there.”