5th May 2011
It has been a long time in between blog updates but I am again this year playing on the Champions Tour and looking forward to having a year of experience to draw from.
I have started the season well having already played 5 events making the cut in all and two top 10 finishes the last of which occurred at the last event; the Liberty Mutual Legends.
The Liberty Mutual is a best ball event and after a successful 2010, where we finished 11th I once again teamed up with Sandy Lyle. We were confident we could put ourselves near the lead come Sunday.
Being a best ball event you take a few more risks than what you normally would especially on the Par 5’s. We were in great position after two rounds but Sunday was not our day as we birdied the same holes and couldn’t get anything going.
I feel in my second year on the Champions Tour that my game is in good shape and I am hopeful of another strong finish this week. I have felt really comfortable this year on Tour, you become more familiar with the courses, climate changes and in particular the players. It continues to impress me just how the really great players of our game are really fantastic blokes as well.
Mitch, my son, has been on the bag and I’m enjoying him travelling with me to each event. We have similar interests so it’s pretty easy to fill in time away from the course. I must say though, I miss watching my Rugby League and in particular the Broncos and Titans!!!
Before I headed to the US I played in a number of PGA Tour of Australasia events. It’s always good to get some golf behind you early in the year especially with only a handful of Champions Tour Tournaments prior to April. Even though I missed the cut, I enjoyed playing the Cellarbrations Victorian PGA Championship followed by a solid week at the inaugural Surf Coast Knockout in Torquay. Both events allowed me to brush off the Christmas cobwebs and refocus my attention on the season ahead.
Without a doubt the Aussies performance in the Masters has been the highlight so far on the Australian golfing calendar in 2011. What a great week for Adam, Jason and Geoff and hopefully the catalyst they need for a great year in the US.
After watching Adam make several clutch putts down the stretch, it’s hard to argue that switching to a broomstick putter wasn’t a great move. I really feel that Adam will start to put some great results on the board this year.
This week I am playing in the Regions Tradition at Shoal Creek and the course is looking really good. The rough isn’t as high as in the past so my usual accuracy from the tee won’t be as big an advantage over the three days. Let’s hope I can fire up the flat stick as I feel the Tournament will be won and lost on the greens this week.
Wayne Grady is also playing this week so I look forward to catching up with him and hopefully we will see an Aussie lift the trophy. Of the non-Aussie contenders my tip is Hale Irwin who already has 45 wins on the Champions Tour!
I hope everyone is well back in Australia!!
14th October 2010
Peter Senior takes time to reflect on his week at the Senior Players Championship - his sixth major for the year.
This week was just about as good and as tough as you get on the Champions Tour. The TPC at Potomac just outside Washington DC
has just had major renovations done. The result is a 7250 yard par 70 monster and after the recent rain it was going to be a very good
I played the first two days with Mike Allen and Gary Hallberg, winner of last week's Ensure Classic. Allen played really well and was
six-under and right in the mix going into the weekend.
I played ok but have continued to struggle making a score and at five-over at the halfway mark, I needed to have a good weekend.
Saturday was special as I was paired with Hale Irwin. Even though I have played some practice rounds with Hale, this was my first
I was travelling nicely at four-under thru 14 and could have been much better, but bogeys on three of the last four holes stuffed up a great day.
The only real highlight was watching Hale hit it down the middle all day, you can understand why he has the record he has. The only
difference now is he doesn't convert the birdie putts he usually makes.
The last day I was paired with Bernard Langer and Bobby Clampett, two of the best guys on tour. We had a great day, I finished with another 69
which put me in a tie for 16th not bad seeing i'm not at my best.
Mark O'Meara seamed to have the tournament wrapped up until Allen who finished 2nd on the PGA Tour the week before finished with
some great birdies to take the tournament to extra holes.
Mark made par on the first play-off hole to win his first event on the Champions Tour and i'm sure it wont be his last.
There is nothing better when you play a course and even par is a good score - means you have played well. The TPC at Potomac is a great course.
Well mission accomplished - I am now guaranteed a spot on the Champions Tour in 2011.
Good golfing everyone.
It’s now getting to the business end of the season in the race for the Charles Schwab Cup with five events remaining.
We are just about to start the Ensure Classic at Rock Barn Golf Club in Conover, the course is great and even better news for me my coach Gary Edwin is here to sort me out. It took Gary about two minutes to get me going again and I'm looking to play better than I have been recently.
The trip to Korea was a great experience with the sponsors chartering a jumbo for all the guys to fly from San Francisco to Seoul for a new event in New Songdo City.
The newly opened Jack Nicklaus course was very young and the fairways had been sodded the week we arrived. The greens and tees were fine but due to all the rain we got during the week we had to play preferred lies. The left-handed Russ Cochran was the eventual winner after an exciting play-off with Fred Funk.
I finished in 18th that week but you always look for better.
Last week we played in the SAS Championship at Prestonwood Country Club in North Carolina. The first round was a disappointing 72. You find out pretty quick here on the Champions Tour if you don't shot four or five under the first round you have no chance of winning the event.
In the second round, I was paired with Chip Beck who is a really good guy and Lu from Taiwan. A four under got me going in the right direction but the story of the day was John Cook who was eight-under after eight holes and on his way to super low round.
Russ Cochran who is having a great run at the moment finished with a couple of birdies and an eagle on the 17th for a 67 to go with his opening round of 64 to have a four shot lead.
The last day was pretty windy and the greens got very hard which made scoring difficult. I played with Morris Hatalsky and Tommy Armour 111 and finished in 11th after a final round, three-under 69.
It's been great being over here and it's been 10 years since I’ve played a full year of golf. I am looking forward to coming home and playing the Handa Australian Senior Open in late November.
After the week off I was really looking forward to playing again. The weather has been so hot in Florida that I decided to go to Sun River in Oregon a little earlier.
Sun River Resort is about three hours south west of Portland and what a great place to relax for a couple of days.
The JELD-WEN Tradition was the fourth Major on the Champions Tour, with $US2.6m in prizemoney on offer. If you played well this week, you had the chance to shoot-up the money list.
The course was in good condition and the scoring looked like it was going to be pretty low.
During the first two days I was paired with Americans Bobby Clampett and Jay Don Blake. Both played very well, while I battled it around.
So after two rounds, DA Weibring had the lead but the usual suspects Tom Leman, Bernard Langer and Fred Funk were all hanging around the top of the leaderboard.
As the greens began to dry out it became harder to judge were to land your ball making scoring difficult over the weekend.
Tom Lehman seemed to handle the conditions with ease to lead at 11-under after the third round.
I was at one-under going into the last day after struggling again on Saturday, but I felt a good round would see me jump a few players.
I made a promising start but limped home to finishing T38th – my worst finish this year.
With 20 players within four shots it was there for anyone to win. The day saw 10 different leaders before Fred Funk holed a 10 footer on 16 to take the outright lead over Michael Allen who was already in the clubhouse.
Fred would be the eventual winner, holing a six-foot par putt on 18 to finish one-stroke ahead of Allen and Chien Soon Lu.
We are off to Washington next week, but before then it’s time for a bit of fishing with my son Mitchell.
Until next time, good golfing.
After playing the Open Championship at St Andrews, the Senior Open Championship at Carnoustie, the US Senior Open and the 3M tournament in Minnesota I'm glad to be back in Orlando having a week off.
I have my family travelling with me and it's not often I hear my kids say Dad we need a week off too.
So what will I do?
The first few days I think I'll just veg out and try to relax maybe catch a couple of the new movies that have just been released. Towards the end of the week I might try my hand at a little fishing if the weather is any good.
Although I have been in pretty good form, I didn’t play my best at the 3M Championship. I finished in T43, at four-under and remain 14th on the Champions Tour Order of Merit with 9 events remaining.
The TPC Twin Cities Golf Course was the best conditioned course we have played this year. Looking at the design and length of the course you could not see 25-under winning. The previous tournament record at this course was 15-under. David Frost certainly had a week out and his final round 61, was pretty special.
Mark Calcavecchia has made his debut on the Champions Tour this last month and with all players that have come from the Main Tour has made his presents felt. The other players are all talking about Kenny Perry arriving this month. Lucky for us he still wants to play mainly on the Flat Belly Tour.
My next event is the JELD-WEN Tradition from 16 – 22 August, 2010 at Crosswater Golf Club at Sunriver Resort, Oregon, another Major Championship. David Graham will be the other Aussie in the field.
Until next time, good golfing.
Things have been going pretty well since I last put pen to paper.
It’s not often you get to play in three consecutive Major Championships so putting the fatigue aside I’m excited to be here after flying in from the UK last night.
My game has been pretty consistent all year and I am finally starting to believe I can compete with these guys. Tee to green has been solid but my putting has let me down at various times. Although on Sunday I putted super at Carnoustie and hope this might be the start to some good scoring.
I have arranged a practice round with Hale Irwin today. I couldn’t have chosen a more experienced player and I can’t wait to pick his brain while out on the course.
Hale, is one of seven former U.S. Open champions in the field and was the last to claim both the U.S. Open and the U.S. Senior Open. In total, he has three US Open titles and two US Senior Open titles to his name.
The course this week is heavily tree lined and very narrow. The shorter hitters will have a big advantage. I think the course will suit me as I'm driving the ball well, but as we all know this game is full of surprises.
And there are a lot of good players playing this week with the likes of Freddy (Couples), Langer, Pavin, Lehman, Watson, O'Meara, Roberts, Kite, Crenshaw, Frost and defending champion Fred Funk to name a few standing in my way.
I am paired with Bob Tway and Dan Forsman during the first two rounds, so that will be good fun.
Thanks for your support everyone. Until next time.
Since arriving in the states earlier this year a lot of people have asked me to give an insight into the Champions Tour and what I have been up to.
When I arrived in Naples for my first tournament, I wasn't sure what sort of reception I was going to get, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The guys were great and were genuinely happy to see me on tour after gaining my position by virtue of winning last years qualifying school.
The first few weeks were amazing. While the weather wasn't very good; (cold and windy) the scoring was incredible. Freddy (Fred Couples) was winning everything with a score around 20 under par. And that was only for three rounds!
I played very well but wasn’t anywhere close and was in fact wondering whether I should be here or not. I haven't played a lot of tournaments in the past eight years and it has taken me a little while to feel comfortable over here.
Having adjusted to my new surroundings, I am really starting to enjoy myself. I had my best result in Alabama a few weeks ago finishing T2 to Dan Forsman. Then in the first major of the year, the US PGA Seniors, in Denver I finished 11th. What a thrilling finish it was too, with three players tied at the end of the 72-holes before Tom Lehman prevailed on the first play-off hole.
I had another consistent week in Iowa finishing in a tie for 11th. I played extremely well and had a chance to finish in the top couple but the late bogies dropped me down the leaderboard. Another name you would all be familiar with Nick Price won the event by four strokes.
We now have a couple of weeks off, so after a hectic month it will be good to relax and spend some time with June and the kids who are staying with me this year.
Following Iowa I’m currently 14th on the overall Money List, which is a great position in my rookie season. I will need to continue playing well to finish within the top 30 to keep my card for next year.
I have been keeping up to date with Adam Scott's blog and it was great to see him win recently. It’s been good to catch up with all the Australian's over here and to see how well they are doing.
I will write again soon to keep everyone up to date with what is happening.