Senior, 56, wins third Aussie Masters title; Scott 5th

By Associated PressNovember 22, 2015, 11:14 am

MELBOURNE, Australia – Peter Senior claimed his third Australian Masters title on Sunday and set another age record in his home country as the 56-year-old shot a final-round 3-under 68 for a two-stroke victory.

The Champions Tour regular became the oldest player to win the Masters, three years after becoming the oldest to capture the Australian Open. He also won the Australian PGA, the third major Down Under, when he was 51.

Senior finished with an 8-under 276 at Huntingdale.

American amateur Bryson DeChambeau (67), who won this year's U.S. Amateur and collegiate NCAA title, finished tied for second with Australians John Senden (70) and Andrew Evans (71).

Adam Scott, who led after the first two rounds, shot 69 and finished at 4-under, four strokes behind and in fifth place.

Senior's last win at the Australian Masters came in 1995, also at Huntingdale, when his 21-year-old son, Mitch, who has caddied for him for the past five years, was only an infant.

One of Senior's best shots of the day came as he made the turn. He hit a hybrid from 220 yards to 18 inches on the difficult par-4, 476-yard 10th that has played as a par-5 in previous tournaments.



''It's always a tough hole, normally a par-5 for me,'' said Senior. ''The young guys can do it. But to hit it that close sort of push-started me for the back nine.

''I'm getting a bit long in the tooth, but it's still amazing. It still hasn't sunk in yet. You don't expect to win these events anymore.

''Nearly every hole on the back nine, everyone was cheering me, even my poor shots. It was just great. I have not had that sort of following for a very, very long time. It sort of encouraged me.''

One of those poor shots came on the 17th when Senior's drive went into mulga trees and he had to chip out sideways, causing him to bogey the hole and drop him into a tie for the lead with Evans.

Evans bogeyed 17 but a playoff seemed likely when Senior put his approach shot on 18 into a bunker. However, the veteran chipped out to within seven feet and made the par putt. The final margin went out to two strokes when Evans bogeyed the 18th.

DeChambeau was happy to be so close to a win in only his fifth professional tournament.

''Anytime you get to be up near the leaderboard and have an opportunity coming into the last nine, it's special,'' DeChambeau said. ''But unfortunately I missed a couple of putts.

''I call myself an intern, an amateur intern. I'm trying to get my feet into the professional ranks and feel what it's like to be in that situation."

Scott's 77 on Saturday left him five behind third-round leader Matthew Millar, who shot 75 in his final round to finish five strokes behind Senior.

''It was tough to fire on all cylinders after having such a shocker yesterday,'' Scott said. ''I've shot some good scores the past few weeks. The good stuff is there, but it's not consistent enough.''

Scott will have a chance to redeem himself next week when he joins defending champion Jordan Spieth at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney for the Australian Open.

Spieth was at nearby Royal Melbourne on Sunday and was photographed on the practice range and signing autographs for junior golfers. He said last week he hoped to play both Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath ahead of his trip to Sydney.

Getty Images

Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

Getty Images

Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"


CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

Getty Images

DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

"It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

"I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage."

Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

"If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

Getty Images

LPGA lists April date for new LA event

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.