Senior's brilliant start in California
BY Bruce Young | Champions Tour | 2013 Charles Schwab Cup Championship | Round One | 01 Nov 2013
Peter Senior has made a brilliant start to his final event of the year on the Champions Tour, the Queenslander still pursuing his first victory in the USA.
Senior opened with a round of 63 at the TPC Harding Park in California and leads the season ending Charles Schwab Championship by one over David Frost and by two over Fred Couples.
Senior will return home next week to play the Australian PGA Championship in his hometown of the Gold Coast and in this chat with the Champions Tour after his round today he discusses that event which he has won on two previous occasions and his pursuit of his maiden win in the US.
DAVE SENKO: Well, Peter, 8 under 63 today, looks like 30 on the front nine and 33 on the back. Maybe just talk about your round a little bit and then we’ll go through your card. I guess there’s several things to go over.
PETER SENIOR: Yeah, you know, last few weeks I haven’t played that well. The weekend last week I started to hit a little better. Today I only missed a couple of shots. I made bogey out of the ones that I missed but probably the best round of golf that I’ve played this year. I putted well and I played well.
DAVE SENKO: Can we go through your front nine? Birdied 1 and 2.
PETER SENIOR: Birdie on the 1st, 9 iron into about eight feet. 2nd hole, hit a 4 iron just off the back edge and chipped it in. 3rd hole I made bogey, I hit a 4 iron long and left, which you had no shot with your pitch so made bogey there. Next one I hit sand iron into about 15 feet. No. 6, hit 3 iron into about 15 feet, holed that. Sand iron into 7 to about two and a half feet. Hit 3 wood into the 9th probably about 12 feet, made 3. 4 iron into about 15 feet on 11. 4 iron to about probably 40 feet at 12. That was a nice one to get. 13, I hit it in the right rough, first fairway I missed and got one of those lies that you just couldn’t do it, hacked it out to the front of the green and hit a poor chip to about 15 feet. Hit 3 iron into the next to about 12 feet, made birdie there. 6 iron into 15, probably the only poor iron shot I hit today, missed it in the right hand bunker, came out to about eight feet and two putted. Hit wedge into the next about 12 feet. Then lucky to two putt the last from the back edge, I holed about a six or seven footer for my second putt.
Q. I’m guessing you haven’t had too many rounds with three bogeys to shoot 63.
PETER SENIOR: No, I had a pretty good start to the year but the last couple of months have been pretty poor. As I said, I just started to hit a little better last week. It’s just nice, it doesn’t matter when it is to put a round together like this. The course is fairly long for me, I’ve got long irons into a lot of these par 4s. So to shoot that on this, the conditions are perfect out there and the greens are running well so the guys are going to shoot pretty good scores today.
Q. Peter, you’ve had a real good career out here since you came out here, a couple years ago it was Top 10 every week it seems like. How surprised are you that you haven’t won yet, or is it surprise or is there another word for it?
PETER SENIOR: Yeah, I’ve got a few other words for it. Probably the only disappointing thing in the whole four years, it’s such a great Tour, I’ve enjoyed every minute that I’ve been here. I’ve had my opportunities to win, lost a few playoffs here, but I’m a little disappointed that I haven’t won in the four years. This year I haven’t played that well and I can understand it, but the first two or three years I was here I played pretty good. You’ve just got to be fortunate at the right time and I haven’t done enough coming down the stretch, I haven’t made a couple of birdies, just made pars all the way in instead of making one or two birdies just to make that difference. Hopefully it will happen.
Q. I hear you’re going back to play with the young bucks next week where you were successful not too long ago.
PETER SENIOR: Well, I was actually thinking of pulling out next week. That was two weeks ago, then I started to play a little better we’ve got the Australian PGA next week and it’s only 10 minutes from my house. I arrive on a Wednesday and tee it up on a Thursday. I’ll be a little buggered but I always enjoy playing tournaments at home.
Q. How much of a travel obstacle will that be to fly that far and tee it up right away?
PETER SENIOR: It’s nothing we haven’t done before. Australia and South Africa are always the same, they’ve got their tours at the end of every season, and if you want to go home and support your own TOUR then that’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got great fields for our event down there next week. We’ve got Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Rickie Fowler next week, so we’ve got a really good field next week so we’re looking forward to our tournaments.
Q. Can you pinpoint a reason why this year hasn’t been as consistent for you on this Tour as the couple before were?
PETER SENIOR: I haven’t hit it as well. I’ve driven it pretty good most of the year but my iron shots have been pretty poor and I don’t think my short game’s been as sharp. I haven’t really got a I made a lot of bogeys in my rounds this year, even three bogeys today. I was around the green for all three of them, but if the game were sharp enough I probably could have saved one or two of them. You know, golf’s that sort of game where you have a bit of a run and it feels easy and all of a sudden you start to do things wrong and it gets a little more difficult and the last few months it’s been a bit of a struggle.
Q. You mentioned this course plays long for you. How tough is it when you go out with the younger guys and play against Rory and Scott?
PETER SENIOR: Oh, you have no idea how far they hit it past me. I’ve been fortunate to win some tournaments at home, I won two PGAs and the Open last year but they’ve been on courses where length don’t matter. Last year at the Aussie Open, The Lakes, these guys would have been hitting irons off tees and that sort of stuff and I’m just blazing away with my driver, so there wasn’t much of an advantage. The two PGA’s at Coolum is exactly the same, the length just has no value there. So you’ve got to pick your courses when you play.
Q. When you made that eagle on 9 to make the turn at 30, what’s going through your head? How low can you go?
PETER SENIOR: Well, when I birdied 11 and 12 and got to 8, I was counting the easy holes that I could possibly birdie coming in. When I made the bogey, as soon as I thought I made a bogey, it went straight out the window. And some of the holes I birdied, 12 and 14, are really good holes. I had 200 yards into both of them. To birdie those holes is a little bonus for me.