When you go seven years without a win on the PGA Tour, things can become bleak. Sure, you're a millionaire with a great life and the ability to play at any course in the world, but at some point the money becomes obsolete and you just want to win.
John Senden was dealing with those drought demons on Sunday at the Valspar Championship, and he had to do it in conditions that seemed nearly impossible if you watched any of the telecast.
For two hours straight it seemed nobody hit a good shot, with professional golfers missing fairways by 30 and 40 yards, hitting it in the trees off the tee on par-3s and missing short putt after short putt in the windy conditions at Innsbrook.
But like so many times before, one man was forced to emerge, and that man was a 42-year-old Australian with a single PGA Tour win under his belt, and that came in 2006. Senden hadn't exactly been playing like Patrick Reed heading into the Valspar, missing the cut at Pebble Beach, finishing T-18 at Riviera and T-46 at the Honda Classic, but all you need is one thing to click in this game and it seemed Senden found it over the weekend at the Valspar.
A Saturday 64 got him in the hunt, and while everyone else was struggling down the stretch on Sunday it was Senden that pulled off the shots needed to win a golf tournament.
The first came at the par-4 16th, when Senden pitched in from short of the green for an unexpected birdie and sudden life in a tournament that desperately needed it. Sitting with some follow golf scribes, we all thought 5-under might win this thing with 4-under possibly making a playoff, but Senden quickly changed that after his tee shot on the difficult 17th.
His tee shot was perfect on the par-3, ending up 25 feet left of the hole, which he rolled in for another unexpected birdie and now full command of a golf tournament that seemed totally up in the air just two holes ago.
Still, on the PGA Tour it is never over until you sign that scorecard and they let you make a speech on the 18th green, and Senden had a tough final hole to deal with as Kevin Na was making a late charge.
No worries for Senden, who hit his second shot safely on the green, hit one of the best lag putts of the year considering the moment and tapped in for a closing par and the Valspar Championship.
It was a clutch performance by the Australian, who not only ended his PGA Tour drought, but got himself an invite to a little tournament that takes place in three weeks outside of Atlanta. Not a bad day for a man that didn't have a single top-10 in 2014 heading into this week at the Valspar.
- Sports & Recreation
- PGA Tour
- John Senden