US CHAMPIONS TOUR rookie Peter Senior has had his best finish of the year with a second placing at the Regions Charity Classic in Alabama.
It was his fourth top 20 finish in seven starts on the premier US over 50’s circuit and more than justifies his decision to relocate the family to the US and give the lucrative American seniors tour a burl.
The popular Aussie hit the magic 50 mark mid last year and went on to win the 2009 Australian PGA Seniors Championship on the Australian Legends Tour.
However, the US was largely unchartered territory for him after spending most of his career playing in Japan, Australia and Europe. His career wins since turning professional in 1978 includes 19 wins in Australia, four in Europe and three in Japan.
“It sounds simple, but I love playing golf. When I was about 48 I started giving it some more thought, talked to Stewart Ginn and Rodger Davis (both Australian ex Champions Tour competitors) about their experiences and decided to go for it.”
Senior started the Alabama tournament with a bang last Friday with an opening round of 65 and stayed in touch with a second round 66.
In the final round Sunday he was taking the tournament by the throat, birdying four of his first six holes but then finished with 12 consecutive pars to end three strokes behind winner Dan Forsman.
He ended tied for second with Japan’s Joe Ozaki after a bogey free tournament.
“I got off to a good start, and then I went to sleep,” Senior said. “I missed a short birdie putt on No. 7 and I never got going after that. Then Dan just blew the competition away and coasted home.”
The runner-up cheque took Senior’s tour earning to about $USD320,000 in four months and he is 17th on the Champions Tour Money List.
He made the tour after becoming the first Australian to top the Qualifying School last year and the long time Gold Coast resident decided to re-located to Orlando this year with wife June and children Krystalle (21), Jasmine (17) and Mitchell (15).
Being able to take the family was a large part of the decision.
“I’ve talked to a few fellow Aussies and their one regret was travelling so much they didn’t get to see their children grow up. I didn’t want that to be me,” he said. “I’ve got myself a home base in Orlando and my wife and son are with me, which makes it a lot easier.”
Senior is also scheduled to play in the Senior British Open at Carnoustie this year and thanks to his success at the International Qualifying event at Kingston Heath in January will also play the British Open the week before.