Lethal Langer sets senior open pace

BERNHARD Langer tamed a fiery Royal Porthcawl to establish a two stroke lead in the opening round of The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex, as he seeks to make amends for missing out on the prestigious title 12 months ago.

The German let a two shot lead slip on the 72nd hole at Royal Birkdale last year before eventually losing in a play-off to American Mark Wiebe.

But he appeared in control throughout the opening round of Wales’ first Senior Major Championship, carding seven birdies, including on both of the closing two holes, for a six under par round of 65, with the solitary bogey on his card coming on the 16th hole.

A crowd of 8,763 lined the fairways of the Bridgend links to see some of the game’s most iconic names in action, and on a day when only six players broke par, it was the two-time Masters Champion Langer who impressed the most, shaving two shots off the clubhouse target of four under par set by early starter Bob Tway, of America.

“Whenever you’re under par on a course like this, it’s a good round, and to be six under is very satisfying,” said Langer, the 2004 European Ryder Cup captain. “I played smart.  I played pretty good.  Not everything was great, but there was a lot of good and some great in it, and I didn’t make too many mistakes and that’s what it comes down to at the end.”

Langer was a wire-to-wire winner of The Senior Open at Carnoustie in 2010, and he believes he can match that feat again this week.

“I hope so,” he said. “It’s been done before.  I’ve done it before, so hopefully I can do it again.”

Paul Eales was the best of the regional players with a 73, two better than Paul Wesselingh who was three ahead of Andrew Murray..

 

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