US Champions Tour regular Peter Senior beat Geoff Ogilvy with a par on the second hole of a playoff to win the Australian PGA title yesterday.
Ogilvy, who won last week’s Australian Open, finished with a six-under-par 66 while Senior birdied the 18th for a 71, both finishing with 12-under-par totals of 276.
Both players parred the 18th hole on the first hole of the playoff but Ogilvy three-putted the hole his second time around, giving the 51-year-old Senior his third Australian PGA title. He became the oldest player to win a professional tournament in Australia.
Senior and Ogilvy were two of 24 golfers who had to finish their rounds yesterday after heavy rain suspended play on Sunday.
Three Australians — Nick O’Hern (69), Peter Fowler (71) and Andre Stolz (71) — finished level in third place, one stroke back of Ogilvy and Senior. Stolz bogeyed the 18th after hitting his tee shot in the water.
The US’ Bobby Gates, who led by a stroke after Saturday’s third round, bogeyed two of his final nine holes yesterday and finished with a 74 in a group tied for sixth, two strokes behind the leaders.
Ogilvy said he was disappointed with the three-putt finish but not with his play overall in the past two weeks.
“That’s the best way I’ve finished a year in a long time,” Ogilvy said. “But to be honest, I never really felt that I was in this tournament until Sunday. And I never thought my 12-under would hold up for a playoff.”
Ogilvy had to wait at least an hour — “I hit a lot of balls on the range” — between his finish and Senior completing his round in the final pairing with Gates.
Ogilvy resumed on the 14th hole yesterday and birdied that hole and 16. Senior, who led by one on the resumption of play, bogeyed his first hole — the 10th — after his tee shot in pouring rain on Sunday left him in the trees when play was stopped.
Senior forced the playoff when he made a curling 10-foot birdie putt on 18, where up to several thousand spectators had gathered despite the 6am start.
Defending champion Robert Allenby, who had four holes to play yesterday, finished with a 70 and a 280, four strokes back.
Gates, playing the Coolum course for the first time, tried to be diplomatic on Sunday when play was called despite a tough officiating decision that had forced him to hit an awkward shot out of a bunker that was nearly flooded by rain. He ended up bogeying the hole.
“I’ve never played where it’s gotten to this point before, but I understand they want to try to get it in,” Gates said.
Senior, who said he felt Gates got a bad decision on his bunker shot, said the last three holes that he and Gates played were extremely difficult, and “the 10th tee was actually underwater when we got there.”
“Poor old Bobby Gates,” Senior added. “The bunker was just riddled with water on the ninth hole there and had to play his shot and he could have made four if he just putted the hole. But when the course is unplayable, the day should be called and that’s it.”
AP, MALELANE, South Africa
Pablo Martin successfully defended his Alfred Dunhill Championship title on Sunday as he recovered from a late stutter for a final-round two-under 70 and a two-shot win.
The Spaniard made a triple--bogey seven at No. 17, but then birdied the last for an 11-under 277 at Leopard Creek Country Club, two clear of Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen and South African pair Charl Schwartzel and Anthony Michael.