Monday, November 14, 2016

Peter Senior (56) to retire from tournament golf: 'I just can't put up with the injuries'

Just 12 months after his stunning win in the now defunct Australian Masters at age 56, Peter Senior has conceded a virtual inability to "even put his tee in the ground" due to chronic injuries means he will play his final tournament in the next fortnight.
The elder statesman of Australian golf will begin his two-week farewell tour at this week's Australian Open at Royal Sydney before teeing it up for the last time locally at the Australian PGA on the Gold Coast.

Old Master: Peter Senior after winning the 2015 Australian Masters.
Old Master: Peter Senior after winning the 2015 Australian Masters.  
Photo: Michael Dodge
"I just can't put up with the injuries," Senior said. "I'll play a few of the senior events, but as far as tournament golf I think this will be the end of me.
"It's just the injuries that have worn me down. I haven't been injured my whole life and the last two years I've had everything.
"I'm getting miserable because I just don't feel bloody good all the time. You just can't play this game injured. Every time I hit the ball it feels like a bolt of lightning goes through the back of my hip.
"I was playing well [at the NSW Open last week], but I couldn't even bend over to tee the ball up with my right side. I had to tee it up left handed. It's unusual to tee it up with the other hand. I was suffering big time."
Senior's incredible longevity saw him net Australian Open, PGA and Masters titles in his 50s and he became the oldest player to win the national championship, his second one, at The Lakes in 2012 when he was 53.
But a string of shoulder, elbow and hip injuries in the last two years has convinced Senior to embark on a low-key send-off over the next fortnight before pledging to play the odd senior event overseas.
"I haven't really said anything [about retirement]," Senior said. "It's just worn me down. I still love the game. I would still love to play. I still think I can play really well. As I said, you can't play this game injured. I would still love another couple of years down here, but I'm not going to put up with playing like I am.
"When I stopped in June over at the Champions Tour I thought, 'Gee, I'm going to miss it'.
"But I have actually enjoyed myself at home. Just waking up and going for a walk with the missus along the beach and going for breakfast [is nice] ... just doing things, mucking around with the kids. I still enjoy their company. I just want to do things that normal people do."
Despite playing against a backdrop of crippling pain, Senior only missed the cut at a rejuvenated NSW Open by a shot last week.
Hoping to be remembered as a "fighter who just enjoyed the game", Senior's son Mitchell will be on his bag at Royal Sydney in a field headlined by former world No.1s Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth.
"I'm going to go to the physio quite a bit [this week]," Senior said. "I just want to feel a little better so I can put in a decent performance. I want to make the cut and play pretty well.
"I'm going to struggle [with my injuries]. It even hurts when I putt. I'm fine walking, but any movement bending over [hurts]. I don't want to be a guy that just hangs on and comes out here just to make up the numbers."



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