Bernhard Langer becomes 2010 Senior Open Champion
Bernhard Langer has become the 2010 Senior Open Champion, today [Sunday] at Carnoustie, and with it, an exemption into the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St George's. Having enjoyed a three-shot advantage going into the final day, he returned a fourth-round, one-over-par 71 to finish one clear of playing partner Corey Pavin of the USA.
Two-time Masters Tournament Champion Langer made a birdie at the 408-yard, par-four fifth hole to restore the three-stroke lead, which Pavin had cut to two with an early birdie at the second. But back-to-back bogeys, coupled with a Pavin birdie at the 12th, ensured that Langer would lead by the narrowest of margins as they entered the final stretch of holes.
1995 US Open Champion Pavin picked up a shot at the 14th, which the German also birdied, before immediately handing it back with a bogey at 15. Langer, who had finished in fourth place in the previous two Senior Opens, then nursed his lead through 16 and 17 and allowed himself a nervy bogey at 18 to win his first senior Major by a solitary stroke: an achievement which the 52-year-old ranks up there with the best in his career.
“This ranks very high,” said Langer, who led the Championship from start to finish. Obviously it was pretty close to my two US Masters championships and some of the Ryder Cups I won and those things. It's definitely in the top‑ten, and it's a thrill to finally hold this trophy.
“It was obviously a little closer than I wanted it to be, but my goal was to come into 18 with a three‑shot lead, and I had two shots. I played it safe, laid up and it's tough to birdie that hole. But Corey played very well and my hat's off to him.
“You still get nervous, especially in a championship that means something to you. I've always wanted to win The Open Championship and this is the next best thing. I probably will not win The Open Championship, but I'm very pleased to win the Senior Open Championship on a great golf course like this. Carnoustie is a wonderful, tough links course, maybe the toughest I've ever played,” Langer added.
2010 Ryder Cup Captain Pavin was left to rue a week of missed opportunities, especially when it came to makeable birdie putts.
“It was a week of 12‑, 15‑footers and nothing seemed to go in,” he explained. “I hit a lot of good putts.
“It's tough when you almost win. It's almost harder when you just finish second and don’t win. It's disappointing. I played well, and Bernhard didn't play his best golf today, I would say, but he did what he needed to do to, and that's what it's about. I just came up one shot short, that's all.”
Australia’s Peter Senior, who played in his 18th Open Championship, at St Andrews earlier in the month, signed for a three-under-par 68 to finish in a four-way tie for third place with Americans Russ Cochran, Jay Don Blake and Fred Funk. Only six players managed to complete the week under par.
Many of the field will now head to take their places in the field at the US Senior Open, which begins at Sahalee County Club in Sammamish, Washington, on Thursday.
Click here for full scores from Carnoustie.