Date: June 15, 2009
Author: Sportal and PA Sport

Senden storms home to grab fourth

John Senden has stormed home to finish in a tie for fourth at the St Jude Classic in Memphis on Sunday. The Australian closed with a six-under-par 64 to move to 12-under overall and a share of fourth place with compatriot Robert Allenby, who recovered from a shaky, four-bogey, two-birdie front nine to record a 69. But there was no stopping American Brian Gay as he continued his dominance of the event for the fourth round in succession, running out a five-shot winner at 18-under for the week and sealing his ticket to next week&aposs US Open. Gay, who won the Verizon Heritage tournament in April by 10 strokes, began the day at 14-under, one-shot ahead of fellow American Bryce Molder with Allenby another two strokes back. The lead was soon being extended, however, as Gay birdied the par-four second and then the par-three fourth, which Molder bogeyed. Steady par golf all the way home, capped with a birdie at the 18th, sealed victory with a final-round 66, his third in a row following an opening 64. Molder finished with a level-par 70 in a tie for second place at 13-under with David Toms, who closed with a 65. Paul Goydos finished in a tie for fourth with Senden and Allenby. Nathan Green and Aron Price both had good final rounds to finish in a tie for 14th at seven-under, while Jason Day was a further stroke back in a share of 23rd and Marc Leishman was another stroke back in 29th place. James Nitties and Nick O&aposHern finished even with the card in 49th place, while Peter Lonard (T59), Jarrod Lyle (T69) and Greg Chalmers (T69) all had disappointed finishes. The field had been forced to wait four hours before the final round could get under way at TPC Southwind after an unexpected storm hit the Tennessee course on Sunday morning. Even with players grouped in threes and playing from split tees for the final 18 holes, the pressure was on to complete play as more severe weather was expected during the late afternoon, prompting fears the final round would extend into Monday morning, when many of the field would be hoping to begin practice rounds at New York&aposs Bethpage Black ahead of the US Open. World No.2 Phil Mickelson failed to make an impact as he continued to shake off rustiness ahead of the US Open following a break from competitive golf after his wife Amy&aposs breast cancer diagnosis last month. Mickelson, a two-time winner in 2009, on Saturday admitted he was concerned about his putting. “It&aposs the weakest point,” Mickelson said. “I haven&apost putted well the first three days. I feel like I&aposve struck the ball well but have not been able to get it in the hole and shoot a number.” “I thought I would be in a little better shape,” he added. “I thought I would give myself a chance for Sunday&aposs round, maybe within three, four, five shots but I just haven&apost quite gotten it in the hole yet, haven&apost made enough putts. I&aposll spend some time on that in the next few days and should be able to get it ironed out for next week.” Those plans suffered a blow as the American bogeyed two of his first three holes, including a two-putt from 10 feet at the second. Mickelson birdied the eighth and 10th but triple-bogeyed the par-three island hole at the 11th then bogeyed the 12th before finishing birdie-bogey-bogey for a five-over 75, tied for 59th with, among others, John Daly, in his first tournament back since serving a six-month PGA Tour suspension for misconduct. Meanwhile, on the Nationwide Tour, there was heartbreak for Australian David McKenzie after he led the Knoxville Open going into the final round but could only manage an even-par round to finish one-stroke behind leaders Kevin Johnson and Kiwi Bradley Iles. Johnson and Iles both finished on 20-under with the American going on to win in a play-off for the second time this season.