Peter Senior back to the future with PGA victory

BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2003 Australian PGA Championship | Wrap | 14 Dec 2003
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What a difference twelve months makes. I remember walking past Peter Senior twelve months ago after he had taken a big number at the 72nd hole at Hyatt Coolum to shoot a last round of 80 and may well have been wondering just what it was all about. Today he is the 2003 Australian PGA champion and has returned to a place in Australian golf that he has well and truly deserved.

His one shot victory was in the end hard fought. Opening with an early birdie at the second he was unable to move ahead any further and when he had bogeyed the 17th, his lead was reduced to just two over Pampling. Pampling hit a fine shot from an awkward stance close to the water at the last to set up a six metre birdie chance which shaved the edge and so Pete had the cushion of a two shot lead as he walked to his tee shot at the 18th.

“The shot I had into eighteen, although it may have looked awkward, was not too bad as the wind was right to left, the slope of the land was going to drag it back and the contour in the green worked in my favour, so although I was close to standing in the water, it wasn’t that bad,” said Pampling later.

Senior made the green with his second at the 18th then three putted to reduce the margin to one, but given that he had led from the very first day and without the benefit of being in this sort of contention of late, it was an impressive effort. He has won several of his many victories from the front including the Australian Open and the Johnnie Walker Classic in 1989 but that was with the benefit of a lot of close up tournament play. It was not the case here.

“I thought a lot about things last night” said Peter after his round. I got up around 3:30am and actually switched on the television at that time and there was yesterday’s golf being repeated so I watched some of that and didn’t really get back to sleep."

“I have often watched guys winning and seen them break down and cry and asked myself why the hell do they do it. Well today after the victory I was feeling a lot of emotion,” he said later.

First to seriously challenge today was Craig Parry who was out in three under to be threatening Senior who although he birdied early could not break clear. Parry’s challenge came to an end at the par three fourteenth where he found water and the ensuing double bogey would see him fall too far back.

Pampling was away with a birdie at the first and was out in 34 but was still four back at the turn. He would keep coming, however, despite a bogey at the 11th and when he birdied the 12th and 13th he was very much in the thick of things. His shot to the last still gave him a chance especially when Senior three putted the 17th, but Senior was able to hold on and win. Craig Parry finished one shot back of Pampling in third and Scott Laycock a last round 67 to finish fourth.

Peter Lonard’s last round 68 was spoiled somewhat by not being able to capitalise on the par fives on the back nine but for the second week in a row he was fifth and looking in good shape for a golf course that may well suit him next week. Wade Ormsby, the youngster who fired a 63 on Saturday, faded a little with his last round 74 but his performance was full of merit and showed that this is a young man with enormous potential.

The Australasian Tour heads to the Mornington Peninsula for this coming week’s Australian Open at Moonah Links.

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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.

    Read all of Bruce's articles ยป

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