Date: March 17, 2014
Author: Paul Barbieri, Omnisport

John Senden takes out Valspar Championship

Australian John Senden has ended an almost eight-year drought, winning the Valspar Championship by a stroke over Kevin Na in a dramatic finale on Sunday at Innisbrook.

Senden found himself two shots off the pace heading into the final day after a sizzling seven-under 64 third round put him right in contention after a solid but unspectacular opening two days.

But the Australian's one-under 70 score on Sunday against a backdrop of wild and windy weather proved enough to give him victory as Kevin Na missed a long birdie putt on the final hole to force a play-off.

The result was Senden's first PGA Tour victory since taking out the John Deere Classic in July 2006 as he earns qualification for the Masters next month.

The 42-year-old was part of a three-way tie for the lead heading into a brutal final three holes, but lifted his game to fire off birdies on the 16th and 17th before salvaging par on the 18th.

Senden's chances of victory looked particularly doubtful as he drove into the trees on the 16th, but he finished the hole with a magic shot for birdie, before a 20-foot birdie putt on the 17th all-but secured victory.