Senden may be noted for his stellar long game, but it was his
short game that enabled him to clinch the victory as he pitched in
from 70 feet at the 16th and then holed a 20-foot putt at the 17th
to break clear of a logjam.
He parred the last to shoot a 70 and finish at seven-under-par 277,
one ahead of American Kevin Na at the Copperhead course at
Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, Florida.
"This is the biggest win over here I've ever had," Senden told Golf
"My first PGA Tour win (at the 2006 John Deere Classic) was special
but this you've got stronger players in the field and it's a real
feather in the cap to know you've beaten a quality field."
Six players were within one stroke of the lead late in the final
round before Senden emerged for his second PGA Tour victory and his
first anywhere since the 2006 Australian Open.
The 42-year-old earned $1.026 million and a Masters invitation.
Senden, twice a runner-up at Innisbrook, looked destined for another
near-miss when he made three bogeys in four holes from the 12th as a
combination of nerves and demanding conditions conspired to cause a
series of uncharacteristic poor shots.
But he gave himself a pep talk as he approached his ball in the
rough short of the 16th green.
"I said something special's got to happen here if you're going to
get it done," he said. "I've been working really hard on that
particular shot out of the long grass and (it was) lucky enough to
go in the hole.
[to top of second column]
"Then I made a couple of really solid swings the last two holes. I'm
just so happy to come out on top."
Na birdied the par-three 17th after almost making a hole-in-one but
could only par the last in gusty winds.
The American plunged off the leaderboard after dropping four shots
in three holes before the turn, but showed resilience to battle all
the way back to finish runner-up with a 72.
"It was a bad string of holes but I settled down, got back right in
it," Na said. "It was playing tough and I made two great birdies
coming in but it wasn't good enough."
Left-handed Scott Langley, who held a share of the lead with three
holes left, had a 70 to finish third, two shots behind.
Overnight leader Robert Garrigus was another shot back, equal
fourth. He dropped five shots in the first six holes before
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Gene
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.