Monday, 28 July 2008

Bernhard Langer and Greg Norman will have another chance to land a Senior Major Championship when they cross the Atlantic for the US Senior Open this week.

Both players have had one hand on a Major already this year only to lose their grip on it in the final round, with Langer finishing runner at the US Senior PGA Championship and Norman, of course, almost winning The Open Championship in fairytale fashion.

Langer and Norman both threatened to mount a challenge at The Senior Open Championship presented by MasterCard at Royal Troon Golf Club last week but came up just short, finishing fourth and tied fifth respectively.

Now the pair, who each have two Major wins, will look to add a maiden senior Major Championship to their illustrious CVs with victory at Broad Moor Golf Club, Colorado Springs, USA.
As leader of the Champions Tour Money List and second in the European Seniors Tour Order of Merit and, Langer will start as one of the favourites to win the trophy.

The German had led by one shot going into the final round of the US Senior PGA Championship in May only to lose by the same margin to American Jay Haas, who will return to the field this week after missing The Senior Open Championship following the death of his sister-in-law.

Langer said: “It’s another Major. It’s tough playing back-to-back Majors – it’s a lot of work for 50 year olds but I’m confident. I seem to be playing very well and I’m enjoying my game. I haven’t seen the golf course yet so I don’t know how it is set up but I’m feeling good. It has to happen one of these days, I’ve just got to keep knocking on the door.”

Norman, who is also expected to be one of the frontrunners, initially seemed to suffer something of a hangover from his remarkable display at Royal Birkdale when he shot 75 and 72 in his first two rounds at Royal Troon last week.

Yet he came back strongly and was, at one point, within touching distance of the leaders at The Senior Open Championship presented by MasterCard, although ultimately a double bogey on the 17th killed off The Great White Shark’s chances.

Seniors Tour Order of Merit leader Ian Woosnam, the 1991 Master Champion, will also try to win his first Senior Major Chmapionship having already secured two Senior Tour victories so far this season.

He finished tied 13th at Royal Troon at Royal Troon but the Welshman is more optimistic about his chances at Broad Moor Golf Club, admitting his form had been better on parkland courses compared to links.

“Funnily enough all year long I’ve not played well on links courses. I just can’t get the feel of it at the moment. I feel I can play a bit for aggressive on the parkland courses.”

Sandy Lyle, the 1988 Masters Tournament Champion, will also look to kick start his season after missing the cut at Royal Troon last week and so far failing to challenge at the top of the leaderboard since joining the senior ranks.

Tom Watson, who tied for fifth with Norman at Royal Troon is also in the field, as is fellow American John Cook, who will get an immediate chance to banish the memory of another painful loss after surrendering a three stroke lead to Bruce Vaughan The Senior Open Championship and eventually losing in the play-off.

Similarly Eduardo Romero, who missed a crucial par putt on the 18th at Royal Troon which would have seen him join the play-off, will fancy his chances in Colorado, having won the Dicks Sporting Goods Open in New York at the start of the month.

The American threat could also come from Haas, who is just behind Langer in the Champions Tour Money List, and Loren Roberts, who also missed last week’s Senior Open Championship presented by MasterCard.

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