Langer sets sights on third Senior Open Championship victory
After his record-shattering 13-shot victory in the 2014 Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex, German golf legend Bernhard Langer is relishing a return to the world-renowned links of Royal Porthcawl Golf Club in July.
The Senior Open Championship returns to South Wales for this year’s Senior Open from July 27-30, where Langer lifted the Senior Claret Jug for the second time three years ago. The former World Number One remains the dominant force in over-50s golf, having won 34 tournaments on both sides of the Atlantic since 2008, including three Senior Major Championships.
Winner of the Masters Tournament in 1985 and 1993, Langer says his appetite for victory shows no sign of being satiated.
“I haven’t lost the desire,” he said. “I can’t speak for my colleagues, but the guys who are still competing at our age have that fire in their belly. They are true champions. They like to win, otherwise they wouldn’t still be here competing.
“Many Americans have to fly across the pond, and they look forward to it because they love to compete and test themselves against the best in the world.”
Langer’s rounds of 65-66-68-67, which saw him win the 2014 Senior Open by 13 shots from fellow former Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie, were regarded by three-time Senior Open Champion Tom Watson as the best four rounds of golf played anywhere in the world that year.
“It means a lot coming from Tom Watson, who is the links course specialist,” said Langer. “Everything came together that year, I drove the ball extremely well in the conditions we had.
“The fairways were firm and the ball was bouncing a lot. I drove it great. I putted well, making a number of long putts. I didn’t three-putt often, if at all. Combined with a decent iron game, it allowed me to move myself ahead of the field and, in the end, it was a wonderful march down the last few holes with a very comfortable lead.
“Monty played some really good golf himself and, if I hadn’t been there, he would have won the Championship. That kind of form only happens once in a blue moon. I have been fortunate to have that in my career a few times.
“No matter what Tour you play on, or where in the world you play, there’s always competition and you have to distance yourself from the field.
“I would be thrilled to be in the hunt for the Championship coming down the last nine holes and win the trophy, but I doubt anyone is going to win by that margin this year.”
Langer is one of potentially 11 former European and the United States Ryder Cup Captains in line to tee it up at the Senior Open Championship, including José María Olazábal, Paul McGinley, Colin Montgomerie and home favourite Ian Woosnam.
Paul Broadhurst, a member of Europe’s 1991 Ryder Cup team, will defend the Senior Claret Jug which he won at Carnoustie last year when the Senior Open returns to the links of Royal Porthcawl, Wales.
Broadhurst relishing Senior Open title defence at Royal Porthcawl
Paul Broadhurst will make an eagerly awaited return to Wales this summer when he defends the Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club from July 27-30.
The 51-year-old Englishman, who captured his first Senior Major by winning on his championship debut at Carnoustie last year, has enjoyed a life-changing few months since beating American Scott McCarron by two shots over the famous Scottish links.
Now, the man from the Midlands is chasing further success on both sides of the Atlantic this season – with his priority a successful defence of the Senior Open Championship against a world-class field that will include players of the calibre of Bernhard Langer, Tom Watson, John Daly, Ian Woosnam, Colin Montgomerie and Miguel Angel Jiménez.
Broadhurst, who followed his Major victory with a first win on the PGA TOUR Champions soon afterwards, said: “Life has changed dramatically for me thanks to that breakthrough in the Senior Open. It’s been a few years since I played in Wales and I am looking forward immensely to defending my title at Royal Porthcawl.”
A six-time winner on the European Tour and unbeaten in the 1991 Ryder Cup, Broadhurst has gone from strength to strength since his stunning success at Carnoustie, where he overcame an opening 75 to shoot subsequent rounds of 66-68-68 to capture the ultimate prize in the senior game.
Broadhurst went on to win the Nature Valley First Tee Open in the USA in September – at another legendary links venue, Pebble Beach, to earn the accolade of Rookie of the Year on the PGA TOUR Champions, adding to the same title he won on the European Senior Tour in 2015. He then collected the prestigious John Jacobs Trophy as Number One on the Senior Tour Order of Merit following the MCB Tour Championship in Mauritius.
He added: “People have asked which was the biggest and best win of my career, and without doubt it has to be the Senior Open. However, it was extremely satisfying to follow that up by beating the Americans in their own ‘back yard’. I felt it proved that Carnoustie wasn’t a flash in the pan and it probably earned me the respect of my peers over there. It doesn’t really come much bigger than winning at Carnoustie and Pebble Beach.
“I am very proud of these achievements over two iconic courses, and it’s tremendously exciting to know that we have Royal Porthcawl looming this July followed in 2018 by the Old Course at St Andrews, which is the most special place in golf and where I shot 63 in The Open in 1990.”
Broadhurst’s recollections over the classic Welsh links of Royal Porthcawl are sketchy. He explained: “I played in the Amateur Championship there – I think it was in 1988 – and reached the match play stages before being knocked out. I have a vague memory of the holes close to the coastline, but I’ve also seen the spectacular lay-out on the club’s promotional video on their website.
“Maybe it will all come flooding back when I return to Porthcawl, but I am definitely planning to get reacquainted with the course in the months ahead of the event and getting in some valuable practice there.”
Among his main adversaries in 2017 is Langer, who dismantled a field of global superstars in 2014 to capture his second Senior Open by a record 13 shots. Broadhurst said: “Over in the States they still talk about how Langer destroyed the field at Porthcawl. The golf course was apparently burnt and fiery, but Bernhard made it all look ridiculously easy.”
Broadhurst is part of an amazing line-up of former Major Champions and Ryder Cup stars who will take to the fairways of Royal Porthcawl. Tickets are on sale now at special discounted rates. Hospitality packages are also available.
For tickets and more information, visit www.senioropenchampionship.com or call +44 (0) 800 023 2557.
Official Press Release
Senior Open Qualifying courses for 2017
Four of Wales’ leading golf courses have been announced as host venues for the Monday Qualifying prior to the 2017 Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex, which returns to Royal Porthcawl Golf Club from July 27-30, for the second time in four years.
Ashburnham, Pyle & Kenfig and Southerndown were used as qualifying venues in 2014, and the inclusion of Machynys for the first time brings the number of venues to four from three used two years ago.
A total of 38 spots were available for those who successfully qualified for this year’s Senior Open Championship, joining a field comprising the world’s best over-50s golfers, including Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Tom Watson and 2016 Senior Open Champion, Paul Broadhurst.
Regarded as one of the best golf courses in west Wales, Ashburnham has hosted a number of Welsh Amateur Championships and Harry Vardon, six-time winner of The Open, said the course in Carmarthenshire was his favourite out of all the courses in Wales.
The course is over 6,600 yards in length, and a course record of just 66 proves this is a worthy site for Senior Open Championship qualification. Ryder Cup Captains Bernard Gallacher and Sam Torrance have previously won at Ashburnham, with Gallacher triumphing in the 1969 PGA Championship and Torrance capturing his second European Tour title in the 1976 Martini Open.
The newest addition for Senior Open Qualifying, the Nicklaus-designed Machynys Clwb Golff is held in high esteem by a number of European Tour professionals, including Tommy Fleetwood who believes the course is ‘the best man-made links in the world’.
At 7,121 yards, the course has hosted the 2012 Seniors Amateur Championship, the 2013 Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship and the Wales Ladies Championship of Europe for four years.
Pyle & Kenfig, just 10 minutes’ drive from Royal Porthcawl, stretches over 6,800 yards with a par of 71. The course hosted the 2009 Senior Ladies British Open Amateur Championship and co-hosted the 2016 Amateur Championship along with Royal Porthcawl Golf Club.
Southerndown has seen numerous changes since it was opened in 1905, but is no stranger to hosting prestigious events, including the 1968 Martini International, won by home favourite Brian Huggett, and the Piccadilly Medal in both 1970 and 1971.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said on behalf of the Championship: “We are very much looking forward to returning to Royal Porthcawl for the 2017 Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex. We are delighted to revisit the three qualifying courses from 2014 – Ashburnham Golf Club, Pyle & Kenfig Golf Club and Southerndown Golf Club for the Monday qualifying event.
“With the addition of Machynys Golf Club, we have four superb venues for next year’s qualifying that will test the professional and amateur golfers alike as they attempt to qualify for the 2017 Championship.”
Qualifying for the 2017 Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex will take place on Monday, July 24.