Langer claims back to back Senior Majors

8/2/2010 8:24:49 AM
Bernhard Langer  (EuropeanTour)
Bernhard Langer (EuropeanTour)

Germany's Bernhard Langer claimed his second Major title in successive weeks with a three shot victory in the US Senior Open at Sahalee in Washington State.

Langer, who won his maiden Major at last week's Senior Open Championship presented by MasterCard at Carnoustie, returned a three under par final round 67 to see off the challenge of fellow former Masters Champion Fred Couples.

It was Langer's first success in the US Senior Open and his fourth victory of 2010 - emulating his total on the US Champions Tour in 2009.

By capturing his second title in the space of eight days on two different continents, Langer becomes the first player since Tom Watson in 2003 to win back to back Majors. Watson, who finished fifth at Sahalee, followed up his victory in The Senior Open Championship with a triumph in the Tradition in the US.

Langer, the first player from Continental Europe to win the US Senior Open and only the second European (after Mark James) to win a US major on American soil, had the added handicap of trying to overcome Couples in the latter's home town.

He admitted the crowds were partisan towards Couples and said: "It's never much fun, but I've had it before. They were definitely against me and for Freddy.

"When you play in the same group with Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer or any of the big names in America, certainly in The Ryder Cups, you get a lot more of this," Langer said. "So I knew what was coming, which didn't make it any easier."

His achievement in emulating Watson's back to back wins of seven years ago came with an added caveat - Watson didn't travel eight time zones and win his titles on consecutive weekends like Langer, and with a massive audience rooting for his playing partner.

Langer and Couples had led the field by five shots overnight and the winner always looked set to come from the final group out on Sunday.

Langer birdied three of the first six holes then parred his way home to retain his lead on the US Champions Tour money list ahead of local favorite Couples.

Two-time Masters Champion Langer, who turns 53 later this month, finished on eight under par 272 and was the only player to break par in all four rounds, saving his lowest for last.

Couples fired a final round 70 to finish on 275, with Americans Olin Browne and John Cook sharing third on 278.

Australian Peter Senior finished in a tie for sixth with American Michael Allen on 282, two over par, with former winner Eduardo Romero of Argentina tied 28th.