Bernhard Langer (Getty Images)
Bernhard Langer will look bounce straight back from his play-off heartache in last week’s Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex, as he returns to his native Germany for the Berenberg Masters.
The 55 year old lost to American Mark Wiebe in a record breaking five-hole play-off at Royal Birkdale, which finished on Monday morning for the first time in the Senior Open’s history.
He will have an opportunity to put that behind him at Golf- und Land-Club Köln, where he is certain to receive a warm homecoming from the German support, including many members of his family, with his brother Erwin’s company Langer Sport Marketing staging the event.
It promises to be a special week for the two-time Masters Champion, with his mother celebrating her 90th birthday on Sunday, and he is hoping there will be plenty of reasons to remember the fourth edition of the Berenberg Masters.
“It’s always fun to win in your home country so hopefully I can do that,” he said. “My whole family are going to be there. They are all coming in from America and obviously my brother and his team will be there and they run the event.
“My mother might even show up. She is going to be 90 on the Sunday of the tournament, so it certainly would be a special thing to lift the trophy on Sunday and celebrate on Sunday with the family, friends and home crowd. That is a nice incentive for me.”
Langer was fifth last year at Wörthsee Golf Club, in Munich, when American Tim Thelen won the title, and he was 11th the previous year when the event visited Golf- und Land-Club Köln for the first time, as Ian Woosnam triumphed.
“I’m looking forward to going back to Cologne, which is a real jewel of a golf course,” he said. “It’s tree-lined and it was in great shape when we were the two years ago. I know it is going to be the same again this year.
“It’s wonderful to have a sponsor like Berenberg Bank. All my colleagues on the Senior Tour are thrilled with the way the tournament is run, with the sponsor and with the venue and golf course. They were all praising it the last couple of years and hopefully we can keep the sponsor happy and have this tournament for many more years.”
Langer is one of four Ryder Cup Captains in the field along with Sam Torrance, Mark James and Woosnam, who won the Berenberg Masters by two shots two years ago with a final round 66.
He was succeeded as champion by Thelen last year, who captured his first Senior Tour title to spark a superb season for the American, who went on to win the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open the following week, and the Fubon Senior Open in November.
Thelen had an albatross two on the first hole of the final round and finished with three birdies in the closing four holes to win by three shots from Barry Lane, Mark Mouland, and Peter Fowler.
Australian Fowler, the 2011 Order of Merit winner, will be buoyed by his sixth place finish in last week’s Senior Open Championship.