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2010 Aussie PGA Champ Peter Senior Proves to Be a Force of Nature

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Turn on any Australian PGA tournament and the first thing you will hear are tired catchphrases such as “the young up-and-comer” or “the veteran battling against the young guys.” The 2010 coverage of the Australian PGA at Coolum was no different.

The commentators, whether unconsciously or consciously, seemed to transfer their own fear of maturation to the players on the field and the unwitting golf fan. Sometimes the selective use of the mute button is the only defence against ageism in sport.

 

Yes, we know Peter Senior is 51 years of age. You told us five minutes ago. But just in case we forgot, Peter Senior is apparently 51 years of age. But what if, perhaps in an alternate universe, we could focus on his other achievements?

For example, his 20 tournament wins in Australasia between 1979 and 2010, his four European tour wins between 1986 and 1992, and three Japan tour wins between 1992 to 1995, along with the recent European Seniors tour win this year, should all be noted. Peter Senior also has the distinction of winning the order of merit on the PGA Tour of Australasia on three separate occasions.

The 2010 Australian PGA at Coolum was interrupted by a rain delay. The final play was postponed until Monday and a playoff ensued between Peter Senior and Geoff Ogilvy for the title.

When Peter Senior emerged the victor, the commentators seemed a little shocked. Stunned, even. It had seemed a sure thing that Geoff Ogilvy, the winner of the US Open in 2006 would be victorious. However, contrary to popular belief, hitting 50 does not automatically entitle one to a walking frame. In fact, there is no reason to think that a man or woman can play golf any better or worse according to his or her age.

When interviewed on his victory and his relative age, Senior answered: “Age is nothing. Tom Watson proved that when he nearly won the Open and a lot of the older guys have performed well on the US Tour, so we are really lucky that we play a long-life sport that we can get a lot of enjoyment out of,” he said.

Golf is a thinking sport, a meditative adventure, and a triumph of courage over obstacles and odds. The human spirit does not necessarily wane with time. Only the media portrays such an idea as the absolute truth. Perhaps one could stop to consider that a greater understanding of the human condition, or “wisdom”, if you like, could actually be an advantage in the game of golf.

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