Saturday, November 21, 2009

Senior wins US Seniors Tour Qualifying School

Australian Peter Senior, winner of 18 tournaments in Australia, three events in Japan and four more titles on the European Tour, shot a closing round of five-under-par 66 to win the US Champions (Seniors) Tour’s National Qualifying Tournament at TPC Scottsdale, Arizona.
Senior shook off a double-bogey 7 at the par-5 hole, making five birdies over his final nine holes to triumph by three strokes over Joe Ozaki (Japan), Steve Haskins (US), the event’s 54-hole leader, and Ronnie Black (US), a fourth-place finisher at last year’s national qualifier in Florida. For Haskins, the son of the legendary Hall of Fame basketball coach Don Haskins, it marked his first successful trip through a national qualifier after missing out 14 times in 17 years at the US PGA Tour’s final stage.
After turning 50 midway through 2009, Senior played three events on the European Senior Tour and finished 14th on its final Order of Merit. He earned $30,000 from the purse of $200,000 for this week's win but more important to him will be gaining playing rights on the most lucrative over-50s pro circuit in the world, bar none.
In addition to Ozaki, Haskins and Black, Jim Roy (Syracuse, NY), a re-instated amateur, secured the final fully-exempt spot on the 2010 Champions Tour, making a 6ft birdie putt on the first play-off hole against Kirk Hanefeld (Acton, MA) and Bruce Vaughan (Hutchinson, KS).
The top-five finishers earned fully-exempt status for the 2010 season, while finishers 6-12 will be conditionally exempt. In addition, the top-30 finishers and ties will be eligible to compete for spots in open qualifiers at all co-sponsored events on the Champions Tour next year.



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