Thursday, 22 July 2010
Bernhard Langer  (Getty Images)
Bernhard Langer (Getty Images)
Bernhard Langer launched his campaign for a first Senior Major title in style with an opening 67 at The Senior Open Championship presented by MasterCard.

The German's four under par round at a wind-swept Carnoustie was enough to see him take a share of the clubhouse lead alongside American Jay Don Blake.

Despite dominating the Champions Tour in the US in recent years, highlighted by consecutive Order of Merit titles in 2008 and 2009, the two-time Masters Tournament Champion is yet to secure a Major in the over-50s category.

But his hopes of capturing a first in 13 attempts - he has had seven top ten finishes - were boosted by a birdie at the first and then a hattrick from the seventh to turn in a four under par 32.

And despite a level par 35 on the way in, Langer was still delighted with his day's work.

"I'm very happy with it, said the former Ryder Cup Captain. "I birdied the very first hole and had some further chances the next few holes, then had a nice run there on seven, eight, nine when I birdied those three - there's a lot of tough holes on the back nine.

"I had some good approach putts from off the green when I missed a couple of greens here or there. I was able to get my approach putts pretty close and save par - it's a very tough finish. Those last few holes are all straight into the wind, and they are playing very long.

"I played very well. I kept the ball in play, I drove it pretty good and hit a number of fairways.

"When I didn't hit the fairway, I was either fortunate enough to get a reasonable lie or miss some trouble and hit those shots out of the rough pretty good. Made a few putts and hit my irons fairly close."

In contrast to Langer, Blake did most of his good work on the back nine. Having turned in 35, the 51 year old recorded three birdies in four holes from the tenth.

"You know, I hit a lot of good shots," said Blake, whose only US PGA Tour victory came 19 years ago.

"Mike Reid, my playing partner says, ‘I never really did anything spectacular'. I hit a lot of fairways and played smart shots to the greens and made some putts here and there.

"I just tried to execute myself around the golf course and be patient. It's a golf course that you can't be aggressive because everything runs up to the pin so much that you can't fly it to the flags like we are used to over in the courses we play in America.

"I've had to learn a whole new game, which is fun - it's exciting, but it's tough. I've just tried to stay out of those death bunkers that I call them - it's a one shot penalty just getting in those. It's pretty tough, tough track out there, and I'm very pleased with what I shot."

One shot further back in the clubhouse is American Mark Wiebe, while out on the course England's Carl Mason - who recently equalled The Senior Tour record for most wins with a 23rd title - got off to a flying start to be five under through eight holes.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1LANGER, BernhardGER18-5
2PAVIN, CoreyUSA18-4
T3SENIOR, PeterAUS18-1
T3BLAKE, Jay DonUSA18-1
T3FUNK, FredUSA18-1
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