John Senden knows he needs the round of his life at Augusta National if he is to win a green jacket, but he’s ready to chase it.
The 42-year-old is embracing Masters Sunday after his third-round 75 left him four shots off the lead in a tie for 10th.
Playing in the final group of a major for the first time, Senden struggled early, but put a bandage on the haemorrhaging and kept his dream of a major championship win alive.
He will need to reel in the likes of leaders Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth plus long-time major bridesmaids Matt Kuchar and Lee Westwood among others.
But he remains confident this is a golden opportunity to improve on his previous best finish in majors, a tie for fourth at the 2007 PGA Championship.
“I still believe that I’ve got a chance tomorrow,” Senden said with assurance.
“Today was sort of a long day. You have a long time before you tee off but the thing is, this is why we practice, to get a late tee time in a major.
“I think that I have to learn from this experience today and take it for tomorrow.
“I’ll still be teeing off late tomorrow but it’s going to be a different feel again because Sunday is always the toughest day.
“I have to get out there and play my game as well as I can and hopefully I can play the round of my life.”
When asked what the round of his life would entail, Senden, the normally reserved Queenslander, cracked a smile as he allowed himself to dream.
“I can’t tell you the exact score of my round, but it would be putting on the green jacket,” he beamed.
“And four back, you’re in contention. I’ve got to take it because you are in the heat. And Sunday at the Masters is always interesting on the back nine. Anything can happen.
“The golf course is playing difficult, but I think you can really get the back nine in some certain spots.
“Look at the way 13 and 15 played today. If you drive the ball well on the back, you’ve got a good opportunity to shoot good scores.”
Senden is paired with big-hitting American Gary Woodland in the seventh-last group, just a couple of groups behind Adam Scott and Jason Day, who play together but are six and seven off the pace respectively.