Pundits' Picks: The experts' view of The Senior Open

7/27/2013 1:16:34 PM
The iconic art-deco clubhouse, built in the mid-1930s, overlooking the classic finishing hole at Royal Birkdale  (EuropeanTour)
The iconic art-deco clubhouse, built in the mid-1930s, overlooking the classic finishing hole at Royal Birkdale (EuropeanTour)

Bernhard Langer is the overwhelming favourite to win The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex, that’s the opinion of some of the assembled golfing media at Royal Birkdale who talked to europeantour.com as the tournament reached Moving Day.

Rocco Mediate, starting the third round just three shots back, also proved a popular dark horse…

Martin Dempster – Scotsman

Winner: Bernhard Langer
“Already won this event in 2010, led going into the final round last year before losing out to Fred Couples, and he’s back in the position again to be challenging over the weekend. He does little wrong and I think he’s the man to beat without a doubt.”

Dark Horse: Rocco Mediate
“New to the Senior Tour this year. He’s a great player and a great character and would prove a very popular winner, too.”

Alastair Reid – Daily and Sunday Telegraph

Winner: Bernhard Langer
“He’s done it all before and Birkdale is the sort of course that suits precision. His course management is just unmatched and he knows what to do. Langer is not the absolute best at any part of the game but he’s the best at putting it all together when it matters.”

Dark Horse: Greg Turner
“Not long since joined the Senior ranks. He kind of dropped off the radar the last few years but he’s just the sort of individual I would love to see win a big tournament like The Senior Open.”

Jock MacVicar – Scottish Daily Express

Winner: Bernhard Langer
“Nobody knows better how to win than Bernhard Langer. Of course won this event at Carnoustie three years ago and he said on Friday that he has struck the ball very well this week and has recovered his putting touch after putting a bit patchily earlier in the week.”

Dark Horse: Rocco Mediate
“He’s such an experienced campaigner from the PGA Tour in America, winning several tournaments over. One of the youngsters of the Senior Tour so he’s at the right age and at two under he looks in a pretty good position to make a charge.”

Andy North – ESPN USA co-commentator

Winner: Bernhard Langer
“If you look at history then you have to look at Langer. Obviously playing well and he’s such a strategic player and so prepared that he probably won’t make too many mistakes. If I had to put money on someone the rest of the way, it would be him.”

Dark Horse: Sandy Lyle
“He’s struggled of late but I’d love to see him do well the rest of the week. But it’s so wide open you can probably go back to guys that are two-three over par – they all still have a chance.”

Rob Nothman – BBC Radio 5Live

Winner: Bernhard Langer

“Last year will have concentrated his mind even more. That experience hurt him a fair bit because he’s not used to relinquishing a lead like that so he will have extra incentive. I also think the weather might not be that great later on today or tomorrow and he has a good record in poor conditions.”

Dark Horse: Rocco Mediate
“No particular golfing reason other than he would give the best interview of any champion come the end. He is one of the most charismatic, articulate, passionate, animated golfers I have ever met. Great value.”

Bruce Critchley – Sky Sports Golf commentator

Winner: Bernhard Langer
“Stood out to me from the start. The amount of effort he still puts in, his desire is incredible. I saw him practicing shots with one foot out of a bunker – his attention to detail is astonishing. I’ve never seen him smile before at the standard of his play – but he did on Thursday and Friday. Exemplary play thus far, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him better.”

Dark Horse: Rocco Mediate
“Largely because he is new. A class player but we don’t quite know how he’s going to get on in the Senior tournament scene. Experienced, though, and I think he is the best of the rest.”