FRED COUPLES has won at his first appearance in a full field US Champions Tour event while fellow tour rookie, Australian Peter Senior, finished a very creditable 11th.
Senior pocketed US$32,000 to help get his over-50 American professional golf tour season off to a great start at the ACE Group Classic in Florida.
Couples showed he will be a major Champions Tour force – if the body holds out – by overcoming a record-tying final round by another senior’s rookie, Tommy Armour III.
Armour shot a final round 61, a tour record equalling 11 under, while Couples “plodded” along with a 64.
Couples, who at one point had a five-shot lead, ended up winning by a stroke with a 17 under 199. Scott Hoch, the 2008 champion, finished third at 9 under.
Senior had a very consistent tournament, playing three rounds of 71 and finishing with a 3 under 213.
The only other Australian in the field was Graham March, who finished 64th.