Thursday, 21 May 2009
UBS Hong Kong Open Round One  (Getty Images)
UBS Hong Kong Open Round One (Getty Images)

Bernhard Langer shot a two under par opening round to lie two shots off the lead at the US Senior PGA Championship.

The German’s 68 kept him in touch with the pace set at Canterbury Golf Club by American duo Scott Hoch and Tom Purtzer, who both carded rounds of 66.

On a day when most players finished over par, Langer picked up shots on the fifth, tenth and 15th, with his only bogey of the day coming on the 12th.

Langer’s round left him third in Beachwood, Ohio, with another former European Ryder Cup Captain, Mark James, in a share of fourth after signing for a 69.

“I was pretty happy with my game overall,” said Langer. “I hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, and kept the ball in play and out of trouble.  I left a few putts short and I need to work on that.”

James, who won the last European Senior Tour event, the Son Gual Mallorca Senior Open, opened his Championship with four birdies and three bogeys.

He said: “I exceeded my expectations.  I didn't expect to do that well around here.  I don't think it suits my game particularly, it's just a little fiddly in places for me and I'm not a great putter on these type of greens.  But the putting was good and then I played pretty solidly until the last couple of holes when I hit poor shots.”

A third former European Ryder Cup Captain, Sam Torrance, posted a level par 70 to continue his good form, as did compatriot Ross Drummond.

Ian Woosnam, the 2008 Senior Tour Order of Merit winner, is a shot further back after a 71 as he chases his maiden Senior Major Championship.

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