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2012 Australian Open winner Peter Senior.
2012 Australian Open winner Peter Senior.

Senior defies the elements to become oldest Australian Open champion

The veteran player edged out Brendan Jones to triumph at the Lakes as gale-force winds saw play suspended for three hours.

Peter Senior became the oldest winner in Australian Open history after battling gale-force winds on a brutal final day to beat Brendan Jones by one shot in fading light at The Lakes.

On a dramatic day that saw play suspended for three hours after 80 kph winds made the course unplayable, the consistent Senior carded a level-par 72 to finish at four under for the championship.

The 53-year-old made his first birdie of the day at the par-four 10th to join England's Justin Rose at the top of the leaderboard and claimed the outright lead with another birdie at the 12th.

Senior then held his nerve with six straight pars on the way home to hold off Jones by the narrowest of margins.

"It was probably one of the toughest days I've ever seen on a golf course," Senior said.

"I really thought these days were over but golf is a funny game. The key to today's round was that I never put any pressure on myself.

"If the conditions had been better the better players would have won, but these are conditions I thrive in, where I just battle it out.

"As short as I am, I don't feel the wind as much as others."

It was an impressive performance from Jones (71), who pushed Senior to the limit with two back-nine birdies and an eagle to card the only sub-par round of the final 17 pairings today.

Cameron Percy (73) finished in third at two under, one clear of Kim Felton (72), Kieran Pratt (75) and Rose (76).

It was a miserable day for the world number four, who made six bogeys and failed to post a single birdie in the final pairing.

New Zealander Michael Hendry was one of only six golfers to break par on day four, signing for a 71 to share seventh spot with Scott Gardiner (73) and Stuart Appleby (75) at level par for the tournament.

Pre-tournament favourite Adam Scott battled to a closing 76 to finish at two over, one clear of overnight leader John Senden who had a horror day on his way to a 10-over 82.

Defending champion Greg Chalmers (77) had a disappointing end to his defence to finish alongside Geoff Ogilvy (77) on four over.

American veteran Tom Watson fired the round of the day in calm morning conditions, a three-under 69, to finish in a share of 28th spot at five over.

Meanwhile Charl Schwartzel outclassed a stellar field at the Thailand Golf Championship to cruise to his first title for 20 months with an 11-shot win.

The South African, who had not won a title since the 2011 US Masters, led the Asian Tour event from day one and finished at 25 under overall.

US Masters champion Bubba Watson finished strongly with seven under par for the day and 14 under overall, putting him in tied second spot with Thai youngster Thitiphun Chuayprakong who delighted the home crowd with some fabulous golf.

Ryder Cup star Sergio Garcia finished in fourth at 12 under.


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