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Senior teaches juniors how to ride the wind

Peter SeniorSYDNEY, Dec. 9 - Veteran Peter Senior gave his younger opponents a lesson in how to play in the wind on Sunday en-route to winning the Emirates Australian Open by a stroke at The lakes Golf Club in Sydney.

The 53-year-old shot rounds of 75, 68, 69 and an even-par 72 to finish the A$1.5 million OneAsia tournament at four under and claim his country's national open for a second time.


He earned A$225,000 for the win.


On a day fierce winds forced a suspension for over three hours and only six players broke par, Brendan Jones went one under to finish alone in second place.


Cameron Percy (73) was a stroke further behind, followed by Kim Felton (72), Kieran Pratt (75) and Justin Rose (76).


"It was one of the toughest days I have seen on a golf course," said Senior, who first won the title in 1989 as a 30-year-old.


"When the conditions are that tough, I feel that half the guys are out of the competition because they think it is going to be too difficult."


Although he now plays mostly on the U.S. Champions Tour, Senior has found his second wind since re-applying himself to the sport after taking a sabbatical.


"I took quite a bit of time off between 42 and 48 and spent quite a bit of time at home," he said. "But I really felt like I wanted to play again. It is a game I still enjoy."


That enjoyment has also brought success.


Two years ago Senior won the Australian PGA Championship for a third time, and he will be back at Palmer Coolum Resort next week to have another crack at the title, which is the final event on both OneAsia and the PGA Tour of Australasia.


Senior had his son, Mitch, on his bag on Sunday, and dedicated the victory to him.


"We’ve been close over in America. We’ve lost three play-offs and come pretty close in a few other events. Just once I would like to say, 'well done mate, we’ve done it'."


Nevertheless, Senior did not expect to be winning at his age.


"I’m getting a bit long in the tooth now. If the conditions were good, the really good players would have shone this week. These are the conditions I thrive in where I just battle it out."


John Senden, who took an overnight lead into the final round for a second year in a row, had a miserable time on Sunday, dropping two shots on the first hole and finishing with an 82.


Playing partner Rose, the world number four and top ranked player in the field, saw his chances slip away with two bogeys in the last three holes.


Still, Senior praised his younger competitors.


"Justin Rose and the other guys are great players. Not for one moment do I think I am as good as those guys," he said.


"Winning golf tournaments, you need to have a good week at the right time. I’ve had a good week where I got it done."


Senior wasn't the only veteran to shine on Sunday. American Tom Watson, whose five Open Championships are testimony to the 63-year-old's ability to play in tough conditions, shot a 69 for the round of the day on what is likely to be his last tournament in Australia.


OneAsia moves to Coolum next week with the Order of Merit title still up for grabs.


Korean Kim Bi-o leads the race, but Australians Nick Cullen or Matthew Griffin could snatch it with a second victory of the season.