John Senden booked his place in this years Masters with a masterclass final round of 70 at the Valspar Championship. A one shot victory was enough to win his second title on the PGA tour and he did so by taming the infamous final three holes at the Copperhead course in Palm Harbor. The course caused absolute bedlam in the final round with the majority of the players shooting well above par and ultimately knocking them out of contention.
Senden looked to have missed his chance early on the back nine with a bogey at the 15th which was his third in four holes. The run of bogey’s were quickly forgotten when the Australian produced a moment of sheer brilliance when he chipped in from 70ft away on the 16th. A birdie at the 17th proved to be as important as his chip in on the 16th as it moved him clear of the pack. A cool, calm and collective Senden strolled down the final hole to secure a par and the win. The 42-year-old hadn’t won since his win in 2006 at the John Deere Classic, but has come second numerous times on the PGA tour including twice at this event.
Kevin Na was Senden’s closest rival and a birdie at the last would’ve been enough to force a play-off, but a 40ft putt stood between him and a play-off. The American’s attempt was off target and a par was not enough to extend the tournament further.
I predicted Luke Donald to do well this week and he did not let me down. The Englishman has hit some good form recently going into the final few weeks before the Masters. He finished the tournament three shots off the lead after a final round of 70. The confidence he is gaining from his recent results will prove vital with the Masters just around the corner.