BERNHARD LANGER has taken his second straight Champions Tour Major with a resounding victory in the 2010 U.S. Senior Open at the Sahalee Country Club in Washington.
The German shot a bogey-free 3-under 67 on Sunday to back up his win at the British Senior Open last week.
Australia’s Peter Senior also put in an heroic back to back effort, coming home tied for 6th place after his 3rd placing at Carnoustie.
Emulating a double senior Major victory by Tom Watson in 2003, Langer not only had to battle the tough, tree lined Sahalee course, but also a partisan crowd that was rooting hard for hometown hero Fred Couples as they faced off over the final round.
Finishing at 8 under for the tournament, Langer fought off jet lag and had to tune out crowded galleries hoping Couples could pull out victory just 20 miles east of where he grew up.
“It’s never much fun, but I’ve had it before. When you play in the same group with Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer or any of the big names in America, certainly the Ryder Cups, I’ve played 10 Ryder Cups, five on American soil, you get a lot more of this,” Langer said. “So I knew what was coming, which doesn’t make it any easier.”
While Langer could take extra satisfaction in overcoming the towering trees of Sahalee and the partisan crowd, Couples – who sat out the British Major tour leg – was again left disappointed after vying for a major championship at home.
At the 1998 PGA Championship at Sahalee, Couples stumbled through the first round and finished tied for 13th.
This time, he put himself in prime position for his first major title on the Champions Tour taking the lead with a birdie on the first hole of the final round.
But then he had a disaster triple bogey on the par 5 second, one of the easiest holes all week.
“When I birdied the first hole, that was what I thought I needed to get going,” Couples said. “And then about 12 minutes later I was looking for a hole to crawl in.”
Playing immaculate golf, Langer went without a bogey in 44 of his final 45 holes.
“I never had the tee,” Couples said. “He was up first all day. He hit it down the middle of every fairway. As I told him, he played eight great rounds to play the British Seniors and this without really a poor round of golf, which is tough to do.”
Senior shot a two under par 68 on Saturday and his final round 71 saw him finish one stroke behind Watson, alone at 5th place on I over for the tournament.