FOR a golfer who has had so much success for so long Peter Senior is certainly an unassuming sort of bloke.
“I’ve been a good player but I haven’t been a great player,” Senior said at his media conference at The Australian Golf Club ahead of the 2015 Australian Open.
But even Senior had to admit he was amazed by the crowd reaction coming down the back nine at Huntingdale on Sunday when he captured his third Australian Masters title, and famously his Triple Crown of Aussie events in his 50’s.
The 56 year old said he hadn’t seen that sort of crowd barracking and encouragement since the glory days of Greg Norman.
A questioner noted Senior’s performance had put golf back on the newspaper front pages on Monday for the first time in recent memory.
“Yeah, there’s been a lot of hype over the last couple of days,” Senior responded.
“The last nine holes at Huntingdale was the first time since I played with Greg Norman that I’ve had crowds cheering all the way up the fairway from tee to green. It hasn’t happened – well I haven’t seen it happen in Australian golf for some time. The crowd following me that afternoon, the last 9 holes unbelievable.”
Despite the success, Senior is still ranking himself in golf’s second tier.
“I’d put myself in the second category behind Peter Thomson, Norman, Adam Scott, those sorts of guys. I’ve been a good player but I haven’t been a great player. I’ve won a bunch of tournaments, but you’ve got to be realistic.I only ever got to about 20the in the world on the world rankings and that says it all. Never really had a chance to win a Major. Fourth was the best I ever did, probably at the British Open, so the great players of the game will always win Majors.”
Facing what he says will be his last year on the US Champions Tour and an imminent switch to a short putter (he says he’s spoken to Adam Scott about the move and will adopt his claw grip style) Senior spoke of how older golfers can be a continuing inspirations to those coming behind them.
“When somebody is sort of 23, 24 and not going so well and they see somebody of that age still winning. I still marvel at Tom Watson and Hale Irwin. They still play great golf; Hale’s 69 and Tom’s 65 but just the longevity that this game gives these guys. If you’re 25 and you’re finding it tough, it’s easy to see you’ve got another 30 years left. I think it should inspire a few of the young guys to think well I’ve got plenty of time to get going, let’s weather this and come out on top of it.”
Senior wasn’t giving himself a whole lot of chance of winning another Stonehaven Cup this year, mainly due, he said, to the length of The Australian Golf Club.
But if the weather and wind turn nasty on the weekend, who knows what this seasoned fighter could pull off.