Senior wins Australian Open

Sunday, 9 December 2012
Peter Senior
Peter Senior

Peter Senior has become the oldest winner in Australian Open history after surviving gale-force winds on a brutal final day to beat Brendan Jones by one shot in fading light at The Lakes.

On a dramatic Sunday that saw play suspended for three hours after 80km/h winds made the course unplayable, the ultra-consistent Senior carded an even-par 72 to finish at four under for the championship.

The 53-year-old made his first birdie of the day at the par-4 10th to join England's Justin Rose at the top of the leaderboard and claimed the outright lead with another birdie at the 12th.

Senior, who won his first Stonehaven Cup in 1989, held his nerve with six straight pars on the way home to hold off Jones by the narrowest of margins.

"It was probably one of the toughest days I've ever seen on a golf course," an elated Senior said.

"I really thought these days were over but golf is a funny game. The key to today's round was that I never put any pressure on myself.

"If the conditions had been better the better players would have won, but these are conditions I thrive in, where I just battle it out.

"As short as I am, I don't feel the wind as much as others."

It was an impressive performance from Jones (71), who pushed Senior to the limit with two back-nine birdies and an eagle to card the only sub-par round of the final 17 pairings on Sunday.

Cameron Percy (73) finished in outright third at minus two, one clear of Kim Felton (72), Kieran Pratt (75) and Rose (76).

It was a miserable day for the world No.4 who made six bogeys and failed to post a single birdie in the final pairing.

New Zealander Michael Hendry was one of six golfers to break par on day four, signing for a 71 to share seventh spot with Scott Gardiner (73) and Stuart Appleby (75) at even par for the tournament.

Pre-tournament favourite Adam Scott battled to a closing 76 to finish at plus two, one clear of overnight leader John Senden who had a horror day on the way to a 10-over 82.

Defending champion Greg Chalmers (77) had a disappointing end to his defence to finish alongside Geoff Ogilvy (77) at plus four.

American legend Tom Watson fired the round of the day in calm morning conditions, a three-under 69, to finish in a share of 28th spot at plus five.