Peter Senior’s wonderful golfing career is over.
The 57-year-old two-time Australian Open champion withdrew from the 2016 championship after five holes of his second round today, and immediately declared he was finished with the game. Near the 18th green, he hugged wife June and spoke with a quivering voice.
“I did my hip last week at the NSW Open on the Monday. I battled through the tournament last week, didn’t do much practice on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, played the pro-am,” he said after taking a kart back to the clubhouse from the 16th fairway.
“Yesterday I played the pro-am but not today, it’s just horrendous. I can’t hit a golf shot out there. It’s no good me being out there annoying the other guys because they’re playing pretty well so this is it for me. I’m not playing any more golf.”
Senior had already announced his pending retirement, but he was intending to complete his career with an appearance in his home state of Queensland at the Australian PGA Championship. But he says he cannot play that tournament now because of the pain in his right hip.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow. The last two years, I’ve had that many injuries. I’m just sick of it. It’s a game you can’t play with injuries. I’ve had a great run, a great career. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. People have been fantastic, you just can’t play like that. I don’t enjoy playing like this. I can’t hit a shot. Every time I hit the ball I get a bolt of pain through my hip.”
Senior won 34 tournaments around the world including the Australian Open in 1989 and 2012, when he became the championship’s oldest-ever winner. As recently as 2015 he won the Australian Masters for the fourth time, becoming that tournament’s oldest winner at 56.
He is set to be honoured by the Australian Golf Writers Association at their annual dinner tomorrow night, which will now become a highly-emotional occasion.