John Senden Leads Golf Tournament Down Under

By Les Bailey


John Senden
Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

John Senden took advantage of the early calm conditions to post a -6 under par 66, and take a two shot lead at the Emirates Australian Open at the Lakes Golf Course in Sydney Australia on Thursday afternoon. The winds came up in the afternoon and challenged golfers with late tee times on the par 72 layout. Senden leads a group of five golfers who are two strokes back, including world number four, Justin Rose.

John Senden began his day on the back nine, putting up five birdies before making the turn -6 under. He put a hat trick together starting at the 13th hole, and birdied the first hole before giving a couple back at two and three. He got those strokes back at seven and eight to get in the clubhouse  before the winds came.

Justin Rose shot a -4 under par 68, and shares second place with Aussies, Kim Felton, Gareth Paddison, Richard Green, and Brenden Jones. Rose, who also started on the back nine, put up five birdies before making the turn, and giving one back at the par 4 third hole.

Adam Scott  shot even par in the windy conditions, and shares 28th place with 14 golfers including American Kyle Stanley. Scott has not made a putter change as of this time, and continues to use his broomstick anchored putter. He started his day on the back nine, and birdied the 11th hole before bogeys at 12 and 13 putting him in black numbers for most of the day. He finally made a birdie at the eighth hole to pull back to level par.

Tom Watson, who won this tournament back in 1984, and played with the defending champion Greg Chalmers got caught in the wind, and shot +6 over par 78. Chalmers picked up a couple of bogeys early, but rebounded on the back nine to shoot a -1 under par 71. That was good enough for an 18th place tie. Watson is in a tie at 118th.

Guan Tianlang, the young amateur from China who will be playing in the 2013 Masters didn’t fare so well in his first big boy event. He did not make a birdie on the day, and shot a 10 over par 82. You might remember, the youngster does putt with a long putter, using an anchored stroke.

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