Date: December 10, 2012

Grant Report – Senior becomes Open’s oldest Champion

Peter Senior has, at 53, become the oldest winner of the Australian Open, taking out the title at The Lakes in violent gale-like conditions which caused a suspension of play.

The former Open winner, with his son Mitchell on his bag, conquered "near-impossible" conditions to shoot an even par 72 in the final round for a four under 284 total.

Multiple Japan Tour winner Brendan Jones finished in outright second while Victorian Cameron Percy was third at two under par.

World No. 4 and tournament drawcard Justin Rose was a shot back in fourth.

“Winning the PGA a couple of years ago up at Coolum was great, but I tell you what, nothing beats winning right here,” said Senior.

Senior’s four rounds of  75-68-69-72 earned him his 30th professional win and his first since the 2010 Australian PGA Championship at Coolum.

"This is probably the most special," Senior said. "We’ve been closer over in America. We’ve lost three playoffs, come pretty close in a few other events and just once I would have liked to have said: `Mitch, well done mate, we’ve done it.’"

The Queenslander first won the Australian Open as a 30-year-old in 1989.

"I’m getting a bit long in the tooth now. I really thought these days were over," Senior said. "God, golf is such a funny game. One minute you think you’re down, the next minute you’re up.

"I didn’t play particularly well this week, but I got it up and down out of some places all week and today was no exception."

The previous oldest Open winner was the legendary Peter Thomson, who won at 43 at Kooyonga in 1972.

Play was suspended for three hours during the final round due to 80km/h winds which moved balls off greens, blew over a television tower and hurled sand from bunkers into the crowd.

“A special thanks to everyone who stayed around today," Senior said. "It was a real nasty day but I had a lot of support out there and I thank you very much for all that support.”

Stuart Appleby fired an even par 288 to tie for seventh while Geoff Ogilvy and Alistair Presnell shared 23rd and Richard Green was back in a tie for 42nd spot.

By: Robert Grant