Senior on verge of what will be an emotional PGA win

BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2003 Australian PGA Championship | Round Three | 13 Dec 2003
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The 18th hole in round three of the Australian PGA Championship may well have provided a crucial moment in the outcome of this tournament when Peter Senior’s birdie and Rod Pampling’s bogey saw a two shot swing that might yet be important at the end of seventy two holes tomorrow.

Peter holed a fourteen metre putt at the last that saw him regain his five shot advantage that he had going into the third round and Pampling’s bogey saw him fall back into a tie with Wade Ormsby and Craig Parry at thirteen under.

When asked afterwards as to just how important that putt was on the last, Peter said “It feels like I picked two shots up and I pretty much stayed exactly how I started. If I go out and shoot a good score tomorrow then the other guys have to catch me. I can’t afford to protect my score because as we saw today Wade Ormsby went out and shot 63 so I’ve got to keep going. I figure around twenty under is needed. My drive at the first was important to get the round under way and the putt from around five metres made it even better.”

Once again there was an air of understated confidence about Senior after the round.

“I haven’t felt that nervous and I am excited about tomorrow. I know Wade well although more especially his family. I used to stay with them whenever I went to Adelaide and I said to him at the start of the week that it would be nice if we were playing together on Sunday on twenty under. It’s turned out that way with the two of us playing together tomorrow at 12:15 with me at eighteen under.”

It will be a big test for the 23-year-old South Australian Ormsby, but it appears if this week is not the week then it won’t be long before he tastes victory.

Pampling too is playing well and his form was acknowledged by Senior.

“Rod has really become a great player over the last two years and it was good to play with him today as we are both working on the same things (both are coached by Gary Edwin) and it is always good to watch a good ball striker. He will win in the US before too long.”

Parry is again sneaking into things. He was there or thereabouts all day and at the end of round three he was there ready to challenge for the title, should Senior falter. Scott Gardiner and Peter O’Malley are just one shot further back with American Ryan Palmer at ten under.

Greg Norman added even further value to a fascinating Sunday when he fired a 66 today to be at nine under and although perhaps too far back he is likely to have a large percentage of the gallery with him. Peter Lonard also came back into the tournament, at least for a top finish, with his round of 67.

It is all set up for tomorrow with the chance of one of Australia’s greatest golfers over the last twenty years about to restart his already significant career and add to an outstanding list of victories. If he is able to do so, it is a fair bet that Peter Senior will shed a tear of happiness as this is a man who now plays tournament golf with a renewed passion and love for the game.

Parry, Pampling and Ormsby may well have different ideas and will no doubt challenge, as will others, but all will acknowledge the 44-year-old’s rightful place in Australian golf and salute him if he is able to pull it off.

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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

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