John Senden says he’s walking away from Augusta National a more confident player after finishing equal eighth at the US Masters.
John Senden can’t wait to return to Augusta National in 2015, as the big Queenslander is trending upwards at the Masters.
The 42-year-old might not have claimed the green jacket, or even his best major championship result, but he did clinch a return invite after his tie for eighth.
After missing the cut in his first three forays at the Masters, Senden contended briefly through two rounds in 2013 before fading to 35th.
This time around he wasn’t going to go away as easily, playing his way into the final group for Saturday, and finishing the tournament as the best placed Australian, in front of defending champion Adam Scott.
Senden, who won his second US PGA Tour event just last month, is now brimming with confidence and feels he has the game to win at Augusta.
“I felt like in my heart that if I was to keep it disciplined this week I could win this,” he said.
“I said last night that if I go out and shoot the round of my life, you’re winning the tournament and I really felt, in my own heart, going out there on the first tee, I could do that.
“I think the golf course suits me but the golf course is also just demanding, it just doesn’t just give up low scores.
“So if you can just stay patient and play great shots and get a little bit of luck, this place is gettable.
“You have to hit shots all day. You can’t miss shots and expect to walk off with easy pars.”
Senden’s result has him projected to move back towards the top 50 in the world.
While he’s already locked up playing privileges at the British Open and the PGA Championship, the season’s next major, the US Open is still not guaranteed.
There are still a few ways to ensure he plays at Pinehurst in June, with the most likely goal to be inside the top 60 on May 26.
“I’m definitely leaving here with confidence. You have to,” Senden said.
“I would be silly not to go away from here thinking this result can help me.
“A top 10 finish and being in contention, playing in the last group, it all gives me the greatest experience.
“And knowing that if I get into the final group again I’ll hopefully handle it better.
“I thought I handled myself well, but it’s a matter of doing the details a little bit better, and having that discipline to let go or to have the mental belief to go and get it and hit the shots all day.”