Perfect 10 for Bernhard as Langer Makes History at Senior Open
LIKE a fine wine, Bernhard Langer just seems to get better with age. He defied wind and rain to win the Senior Open at Royal Porthcawl for the third time. It was his 10th major victory, which is a record, and it would be a huge surprise if the 59-year-old doesn't add a few more before he is finished.
The German, who won in 2010 and 2014, was tied with South Africa’s Gary Player on nine Senior Major victories, and he moved into double figures with a three stroke victory over Corey Pavin. With his second victory Porthcawl, Langer joins Player and Tom Watson as three-time winners of the Senior Claret Jug.
He has had an extraordinary career, with a total of 107 wins. He won three times on the PGA Tour, 42 times on the European Tour and has now won 33 times since turning 50. There have also been six wins on the European Seniors Tour.
Langer started the week with laryngitis and battled treacherous weather conditions on the Welsh links.“It’s a fantastic feeling to have won here again,” said Langer. “There might have been a little extra pressure, just knowing that I won here by 13 shots a few years ago. I hit my first tee shot straight into a gorse bush on the left and it was unplayable so, looking back now, it ended a lot better than it started.
“It didn’t look very premising early on. But, despite my first tee shot and my sickness, I actually had a very good first round and had the lead of the Championship, and I think that was the key. I led from the very beginning. I led on Thursday, I was co-leader Friday and then jumped into the lead with a 65 on Saturday and never surrendered.
“We know what great players Tom Watson and Gary Player are, especially as Tom has maybe the best links course record of anybody. He’s one of the best wind players that I’ve seen, maybe the best; and we all know what Gary has achieved in his career. I’m very honoured to be mentioned with those two.”
As winner of the Senior Open Championship, Langer is exempt for The 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, site of his first Senior Open victory in 2010. He will defend the Senior Claret Jug at St. Andrews the following week, the first time the Senior Open will be played at the Old Course.
“I’m looking forward to Carnoustie and St Andrews,” said Langer. “That will be a couple of very special weeks for me next year. St Andrews is one of my most favourite places; the golf course has really grown on me. It’s a fantastic place to play golf and there’s so much history there.”
Sharing third place were American pair Billy Andrade and Fred Couples and Australia’s Peter Lonard on level par. Phillip Price finished sixth alongside Sweden’s Magnus P Atlevi and Spain’s Miguel Angel Martin.
Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates, said: “It’s been a great honour to welcome such golfing legends to Wales. With these world class players and the remarkable curse at Royal Porthcawl, we really have had a fantastic four days of golf.
“2017 is Wales’ Year of Legends and already this year we have successfully hosted the giants of Real Madrid and Juventus in the Champions League Final and welcomed the ICC Champions Trophy to Wales. The Senior Open Championship is just the latest opportunity we have to demonstrate our capabilities in hosting world class sporting events, and it has only added to our summerof sporting legends.”
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