Monday, June 29, 2009

Langer looks for Maiden Senior Major

Bernhard Langer hopes to capitalise on his superb recent form when he seeks to win his maiden Senior Major in The Senior Open Championship presented by MasterCard at Sunningdale Golf Club from July 23-26. Having won three times on the US Champions Tour already this year, Langer finished an impressive tied ninth yesterday after contending in the BMW International Open, just coming up short in his bid to become the oldest winner in European Tour history, and he has now set his sights on adding another Major to his two Masters Tournament wins. The 51 year old German was fourth at Royal Troon last year on his Senior Open debut, having finished runner up to Jay Haas in the US Senior PGA Championship. Langer has previously tasted success at Sunningdale, having won The European Open over the Old Course in 1985 – the same year he captured his first Green Jacket. The 2004 Ryder Cup winning Captain, who topped the US Champions Tour Money List last season, feels that triumph, allied to his current purple patch, could help propel him to glory next month. “I think it always helps to have won a tournament on a golf course and I have some good memories of Sunningdale,” he said. “I like it a lot. The course is usually in fantastic condition and it is a good shot maker’s golf course, so I’m looking forward to it very much. “Traditionally we have always played The Senior Open on a links golf course so this is a little bit of a different challenge, but not a bad one. I’m excited to be back at Sunningdale and hopefully we will have some good weather and we certainly will have good competition. “My game has been pretty good in the last two to three years. It obviously changes slightly week to week so it just depends on how I get over the jet lag and how the putter works, which is a big part, but hopefully I’ll be contending for the title. “Winning a Senior Major is top of my list of priorities, alongside winning the Money List and the Charles Schwab Cup. Last year was very good, the only thing that was missing was a win at a Major and hopefully I can achieve that this year.” Langer created history last season when he became the first European – and only the third player altogether following Americans Lee Trevino and Bruce Fleisher – to win the Jack Nicklaus Player of the Year and the Rookie of the Year awards in the same season on the US Champions Tour. Indeed he takes his place amongst an illustrious roll call of history makers in The Senior Open Championship, including an array of Major winners and former Ryder Cup players and Captains. “It is definitely a strong field, as is usually the case in The Senior Open, and the challenge will come from many, many areas. “You have the five time Open winner, Tom Watson, and you have all sorts of guys who just turned 50, such as Tom Lehman, a former Open Champion himself, as well as many others who have played extremely well and continue to do so. “So it’s not just a handful, there are at least 60 to 80 guys who have the chance to win the Championship. “It means a lot to me to still be competing against the same guys I grew up with on the tour, with Woosie (Ian Woosnam), Sandy Lyle, Nick Faldo, Tom Lehman, Tom Watson and so many others. “It is always great to compete against players like Mark O’Meara, Tom Kite and many, many, more. You could go on and on. They are all legends. They have all been some of the best over the years, and they still love to compete and it shows in their game.”

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