Senden Sends Himself To Augusta
By Torleif Sorenson on 3/17/14

Until Sunday, John Senden endured a seven-year dry-spell as a professional golfer. His last PGA Tour win came in 2006 at the Quad Cities, followed by his win at the Australian Open in November of the same year.

But thanks to a string of birdies — including a 68-foot chip-in at the 16th hole, Senden won the Valspar Championship, clipping Kevin Na by one, Scott Langley by two, and a trio of golfers by three made up of Will MacKenzie, Luke Donald, and Robert Garrigus.

The fact that Na and Garrigus were even there at the end was remarkable, they were tagged with bad times on Saturday and were almost penalized for slow play. Possibly they should have been assessed a penalty stroke; at one point on Saturday, Na and Garrigus were two holes behind the pairing ahead of them. In Na's case, he is notoriously slow; Garrigus hit into the rough at 14 and took "extra time" figuring out where he would try to hit his recovery.

In any event, John Senden becomes the sixth Australian to qualify for the 78th Masters Tournament in April, joining Marc Leishman, Jason Day, Oliver Goss, and last year's champion, Adam Scott. It is said by some people that the Masters is generally the favorite major of Australian golfers and golf fans. With that in mind, Senden, Day, and Scott can been seen as legitimate contenders at Augusta, barring injury, of course.

Also at the Valspar, former two-time major winner John Daly demonstrated why he has not won on the PGA Tour — or anywhere else — in ten years. On Friday, he shot 90, which included blowing a four-foot putt at the last, and a four-putt on his second hole of the day.

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[ comments ]
GBogey says:
Is it just me or is the PGA tour noticeably setting up the courses harder this year. Seems like every week the rough is deeper and pins more difficult than previous years. Personally I like it better this year when the winning score is -7 instead of -20.
Torleif Sorenson says:
GBogey: I have to agree with you.
Trip says:
I also agree, and I also like it.
jasonfish11 says:
I agree to some extent. I do think the USGA goes overboard trying to "protect par" in the US Open.

I know their goal isn't to make the best in the world look like hacks but occasionally that is what happens, and it is no fun then.

7 to 10 under for a winning score usually makes for a very good tournament.
mmontisano says:
i don't think the courses have been set up unusually hard, it's that the wind has been up the last few tournaments, and that's going to give anyone fits.

Innesbrook is said to be a tough track even when it's not windy.
Matt F says:
It must be said that in the 12 years between wins, Senden has made $12 million on the tour...not bad for not having won.
joe jones says:
Garrigus is known to be a fast player. Don't paint him with the same brush as Na just because of one bad hole. Blame Na. The PGA must start hanging a 2 0r 3 stroke penalty or disqualification on the snails that cause the problem.Watch how fast they speed up. The slow player will play at his pace but a faster player is completely at the mercy of the snail. It gets into his brain and takes him out of his natural speed.
mmontisano says:
everyone is pointing the finger at Na and his Saturday, but they played it in 3.5 hours and we're waiting on the group n front of them a lot. Garrigus was even on Na's side.
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