After an injury-hit 2013, John Senden is ready to lift himself back up the US PGA Tour hierarchy.
An injury-affected 2013 behind him, John Senden feels ready to climb back towards the golf’s top 50 and back into the major championships.
The quiet Queenslander finished outside the top 100 on the US PGA Tour money list for the first time since 2004 last season after rib muscle damage caused knock on issues in his usually flawless swing.
He dropped from a career-high 28th in the world in 2012 and he’s now No.123.
The most obvious measure of Senden’s struggles last year were his ball-striking statistics.
After being inside the top eight on tour for ball striking, with an average of fourth, from 2009-2012 the Queenslander plunged to 80th.
But now he’s trending up again, back to 22nd at this stage of the new season.
“The stats are showing my improvement and I just have to keep getting it done and quietly go about trying to play my best golf,” said Senden ahead the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort in Tampa Bay, where he has two career runner-up finishes.
“The goal is to get back to where I was two years ago, comfortably inside the top 50 in the world, where I feel I belong.
“I have to keep telling myself all the time I belong there and do the hard work to get back there to get the rewards of playing in the majors and hopefully win a major.”
Senden is yet to qualify for the Masters next month and would need a win for automatic qualification, or a handful of very near misses to find his way into the field via the top 50.
He is certainly keen to get back to Augusta National after being close to the lead for half of last year’s event before fading late.
“Bad habits crept in with the body last year but we ironed it out late last year in Australia and this year, while not brilliant, has been better and I feel like I am on the edge of some really good stuff,” Senden said.
“When your body is good the mind can free up and I’m building the confidence back.”
Aaron Baddeley, Marc Leishman, Robert Allenby, Steven Bowditch, Stuart Appleby, Geoff Ogilvy and Greg Chalmers round out the Australian tilt in Tampa.