Friday, 05 January 2018
Bernhard Langer  (Getty Images)
Bernhard Langer (Getty Images)
Less than a month before his 60th birthday, 2004 Ryder Cup Captain Bernhard Langer continued to defy his age as he became the first golfer in history to win ten Senior Major Championships – storming to victory at The Senior Open Presented by Rolex at Royal Porthcawl.

Two years older than his closest challenger at Royal Porthcawl, Corey Pavin, Langer produced a links masterclass in difficult conditions on the Welsh coast, finishing three strokes clear of the American on four under par.

Here’s how the two-time Masters Tournament winner made further history in 2017.

KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

Following his five-stroke victory at the Regions Tradition the week before – his eighth Senior Major title – all eyes were on Langer ahead of the Senior PGA Championship, the only Senior Major he hadn’t won.

Despite a delayed finish to the first round due to weather, Langer set the early pace as he led by two strokes from a host of golfers, including fellow former Ryder Cup Captain Tom Lehman, on seven under par.

He then led by two strokes after the second round, but found himself one stroke behind a fellow Green Jacket winner after Moving Day. Fijian Vijay Singh fired a five under par third round of 67 to take a one stroke lead into the final round.

The pair traded blows on the front nine, with Langer drawing level on 16 under par after a birdie on the ninth hole. They both birdied the 13th hole, but Langer moved ahead with a birdie on the 16th as he reached 18 under par.

Singh dropped a shot on the 17th hole, but Langer was not in the clear on the par five 18th, which Singh could comfortably reach in two. The Fijian had to settle for a birdie as Langer made par to secure his ninth Senior Major Championship, completing the Senior Major Slam.

The Senior Open Presented by Rolex

Host of the 2014 Senior Open Presented by Rolex, Royal Porthcawl bore witness to one of the most dominant displays in golfing history as Langer won his second Claret Jug by a mammoth 13 strokes.

After equalling Player’s record at the Senior PGA Championship, Langer was now bidding to join both the South African and Tom Watson as a three-time Senior Claret Jug winner.

Battling gusts of up to 30 miles per hour on the south Welsh coast, Langer was just one of three golfers to card under par rounds on the first day of the Championship.

As conditions worsened, he shared the lead with four others after the second round but stormed clear after Saturday’s third round with a six under par round of 65 to move to five under overall.

Despite finishing with a one over par closing 72, Langer was still three strokes ahead of Pavin, whom he beat to win his first Senior Open in 2010.

With his victory at Royal Porthcawl, Langer earned an invitation to play in this year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie, site of his first Senior Claret Jug success – the following week he will defend his Senior Open title on the world-famous Old Course at St Andrews.

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