Date: November 21, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

Senior by name, but still not by nature

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Peter Senior answered questions like it was 1991.

He’d fired a quality 68 in testing winds and charged up the Australian Masters leaderboard, eventually finishing in a tie for third after starting in 18th spot and a full 100 minutes before Adam Scott teed off.

He was even more upset that he’d made bogey on the last than happy to be the centre of attention after his round at the grand old golfing age of 56.

But as the inevitable question was asked, the quirky trademark Senior smile broke widely across his face.

Peter, do you realise it’s 2015?

“Yeah, I know. Don't remind me,” he said with a giggle.

“But it's only a few years ago I won the Aussie Open (2012).  Age is no barrier.

“Tom Watson proved that when he nearly won the British Open when he was (59 in 2009).

“(Huntingdale is not an overly long course (and) the next couple of courses will just destroy me probably, because you need a little bit of length (at The Australian and Royal Pines for the Open and PGA championships).

“So this is my best chance of having a good finish and I'm glad I've taken advantage of it.”

And so he did.

Just as Senior did at The Lakes in Sydney in savage conditions in 2012 to win the national championship at the record age of 53, he revelled today in gusting south-westerly winds that are among Huntingdale’s most trying.

“When the conditions are like this, I always give myself a little bit of a chance,” the evergreen Queenslander said.

“I've been driving the ball really well and you have to do that here at Huntingdale (and) I managed to hole a couple of good putts on the back side.”

And then typifying his never-say-die spirit, the anguish of a tough finish took control.

“It was disappointing – I had a great chance for birdie on 17 from about seven or eight feet and then three-putted the last.

“I worked hard all day and didn't do much wrong – and to do that leaves me a little bit disappointed.”

Senior, whose first of 33 pro wins came in the 1979 South Australian Open, confirmed next year would be his last on the US Champions Tour, where he has carved out a stellar six-year career.

But just as he wouldn’t rule out victory tomorrow, he said as long as his bulletproof love for golf burned as it has for more than 40 years, he would continue playing the domestic tour.

“If I didn't think I could do well, I wouldn't be here,” he said matter-of-factly.

“I still think I've got enough game to be able to finish in the top 10 in some of our tournaments.

“So yeah, if I'm playing well and I think that I can do well in the tournament, I'll play.

“But I've seen on the Champions Tour, I see a bunch of guys, great players over the years, like Ben Crenshaw and those guys, and there's so many great (younger) players who can't get on the Tour.

“And I don't want to be one of those stopping a young guy from starting his career.

“He might just get into this tournament and all of a sudden he's up and running.

“I've had 40 really good years out here and I've really enjoyed it.”

And you get the strong sense, that figure will take another addition or two yet.