Date: December 04, 2007
Author: Marc Fox

Senden wants to improve mentally

Former Australian Open champion John Senden has admitted his task is to keep learning the mental side of the game and he knows exactly which player to model himself on. The Brisbane-born Senden was as high as 44th in the world rankings after two top five finishes on the US Tour in late September while the month earlier he finished tied in fourth behind winner, and standard-setter, Tiger Woods in the US PGA Championship. But the 36-year-old has fallen out of the all-important top 50 after a month-long break and a self-admitted disappointing 15th place finish at the MasterCard Masters at Huntingdale last month, and knows exactly where he needs to improve. “Technically it&aposs right there (but) it&aposs all about me learning the game mentally and being able to put myself in better positions,” Senden conceded on the eve of the Cadbury Schweppes Australian PGA Championship at Coolum. “(I need to) experience the heat more consistently so that I can handle it better. That&aposs how you become a better player overall.” Senden had waited a long time to play a round with Woods and when he got his chance last January at the Buick International at Torrey Pines in San Diego he grasped the moment. The Queenslander, who shot a runaway eight-under-par 64 on the first day to lead the competition, admitted it was a thrill to play with the undisputed world No.1 and couldn&apost wait to remind reporters at Coolum how he faired. “I beat him the first day, I did,” smiled the amiable Senden before pondering why the chasing pack wouldn&apost model their games on Woods. “You can&apost tell me that 75 per cent of the golfers out there on tour aren&apost watching how he works. I&aposll be honest with you, I watched him. I studied his swing and tried to study his short game.” “I think that a certain amount of players on the tour can hit it just as well as him but I think upstairs he&aposs the best.” Senden, though, still puts himself in contention for a title won by Australians in the previous five years it has been played at the picturesque Sunshine Coast course. “Winning at home is great and to do it at Coolum would be even more special,” he said. “It&aposs only an hour up the road for me and I&aposm feeing like I&aposm on home soil.”