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Senden happy with rally, though it fell short

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ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Standing on the 14th tee Sunday, John Senden found himself six shots off the lead at the McGladrey Classic, with realistic aspirations of winning likely erased. A late back-nine rally briefly rekindled the Aussie’s chances, though his bid to claim a second PGA Tour title ultimately came up short.

“At that stage, I was just looking for a real high finish,” Senden said of his position through 14 holes, which he had played in 1 over. “When I saw the scores at -14 and I was at -8, I was thinking that it would be a tough ask.”

Senden sparked his round with a birdie at No. 14, then holed a 23-foot putt for eagle on the par-5 15th. He then followed with a birdie on No. 16 to reach 12 under and climb within two shots of the lead on a day where names near the top of the leaderboard seemed to revolve on a constant basis.

“I just felt like I still had some good golf left,” explained Senden, who carded a 4-under 31 on his inward half to finish two shots behind winner Chris Kirk. “I started to sort of try to be patient with myself on the middle of the back nine, and it started to turn around.”

The tie for fourth is the Aussie’s first top-10 finish on the PGA Tour in more than a year, and marks his best result since a fourth-place showing at the 2012 John Deere Classic.

“I was happy with my performance and where I finished,” added Senden, who will play in next week’s OHL Classic at Mayakoba before heading to the Australian Open. “This has given me a fair bit of confidence to go home and play well in Australia.”

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