Senior rolls back the years

Fifty-three year-old Peter Senior held off the chasing pack to win the Australian Open at The Lakes Course in Sydney.

Senior, whose only previous win in the event had come back in 1989, carded a closing level par 72 to post four-under and edge out Australian compatriot Brendan Jones by a shot.

Battling galeforce winds which caused scoreboards to topple over, balls to move on the fairways and greens and sand to be blown from bunkers and into the galleries, Senior showed all his experience to play the final nine in two-under. It proved decisive.

Play was suspended for three hours at one point with conditions unplayable and the tournament finished in near darkness.

A delighted Senior said later: "I can't believe how many people stuck it out. I would have been at home in bed by now."

Justin Rose's hopes were very much alive coming down the stretch and he trailed Senior by just a stroke with two holes to play.

But instead of finding the birdie he needed, the Englishman finished bogey-bogey to slip to tied fourth alongside Aussies Kieran Pratt and Kim Felton on one-under. Another home player, Cameron Percy, finished alone in third at two-under.

Overnight leader John Senden was one of the big victims of the final day winds as he shot a disastrous 83 which sent him spiralling down to tied 18th.

The previous oldest Australian Open winner was the legendary Peter Thomson, who was aged 43 when he won at Kooyonga in 1972.