Date: December 10, 2007
Author: Bren O'Brien

Senden set to defend title

by Bren O&aposBrien, Sportal John Senden can&apost wait to get his MFS Australian Open title defence underway at The Australian Golf Club this week. The 36-year-old Queenslander, who staved off a determined challenge from Geoff Ogilvy to win last year&aposs event at Royal Sydney, says he is raring to go and is very much looking forward to taking on The Australian. “Look I am excited about next week it is a great golf course and you&aposve gotta be excited,” he said. “My first time there was 1996 when Tiger Woods came out but I remember making the cut and finishing off all right.” “When Greg Norman had his tournament out there (in 1998), when Jose Olazabal won, I remember getting it to eight or nine-under but Olazabal was well out in front, but I think the course suits me.” Senden is hoping for fine weather in Sydney this week as he believes he has a better chance of victory when the greens are fast and there are fewer player shooting sub-par rounds. “If it gets firm I think it plays into my hands because it suits the ball strike better but they have had rain in Sydney so the greens might be soft early and if they keep getting some weather it might be a dartboard,” he said. “The Australian GC you can shoot a very low number in soft conditions but when it gets firm it can be a different golf course like when Lonard won there it was firm with eight or nine under.” “I am more suited to those conditions than soft ones which would bring more players into contention so hopefully it does not rain.” Senden is coming off what he admits was a disappointing week at the Cadbury Schweppes Australian PGA at Coolum, where he finished in a tie for 39th, 16 shots off Peter Lonard&aposs winning score of 20-under. He said he needs to work more on his putting as well on his overall game, if he is going to be a serious contender this week. “I&aposd like to improve my putting leading into next week&aposs event but still some good feelings for next week and have to be excited about it. I actually putted better at Huntingdale (Masters) than I did here – I am working on a couple of technical issues and got to get rid of a few of those and then I should be right for next week,” he said.