CHAMPIONS
History for Langer, Spieth and Simpson Ready for Erin Hills May 30, 2017 By Scott Lipsky, USGA

Bernhard Langer has now won more senior major championships than any player in history. (USGA/Matt Sullivan)

Following a Hall-of-Fame career that included 42 victories on the PGA European Tour and two Masters wins, Bernhard Langer, of Germany, put down anchors in the U.S. to chase newfound titles in senior golf. Nearly a decade later, Langer, the 2010 U.S. Senior Open champion, has done just that in a way nobody has seen before.

With a final-round 68 at Trump National Washington in Sterling, Va., on May 28, Langer edged 54-hole leader Vijay Singh for a one-stroke victory in the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, his ninth senior major triumph. That milestone is significant, as he broke a short-lived tie with Jack Nicklaus for the most senior major titles. Langer tied Nicklaus the prior week when he won the Regions Tradition in Birmingham, Ala. This is the fourth time Langer has won multiple senior majors in a season.  

“It means a great deal to win two majors at age 59. And to surpass Jack's record of eight majors out here is pretty neat,” Langer said after his victory. “I'm a good friend of Jack's, and I think very highly of him, and whenever you can do something just similar or close to what he's achieved, you've done something pretty special.”

Recent U.S. Open Champions Peaking for Erin Hills

Jordan Spieth and Webb Simpson didn’t come away with a trophy at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational, but their week at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, has them pointing in the right direction with the U.S. Open just two weeks away.

A final-round 65 for Spieth, the 2015 U.S. Open champion, put him in the clubhouse at 9 under par, and when Kevin Kisner’s tee shot on the par-4 18th hole went well right, it looked like a playoff could be in the cards for the 23-year-old Texan. He stood by as Kisner made a crafty up-and-down to post 10 under and deny Spieth a chance to become the first player to successfully defend his title at Colonial since Ben Hogan did it in 1952 and 1953.

Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open champion, playing in the group behind Kisner, needed a birdie to force a playoff, but the 54-hole leader hit a wayward approach shot that led to bogey, dropping him into fifth place.

Despite falling short, the performances were welcome ones. Spieth was coming off consecutive missed cuts for just the second time in his career. For Simpson, it was his first top-10 finish since he was the runner-up in the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February.

Ramsay Will Make U.S. Open Return

When Richie Ramsay first teed it up in the U.S. Open, it was 2007 at Oakmont, and the 23-year-old was the reigning U.S. Amateur champion. It’s been a long road, but the now 33-year-old from Scotland is headed back, poised to tee it up at Erin Hills after two solid rounds in U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying on May 29 in England.

Ramsay, a three-time winner on the European Tour, fired a pair of 66s at Walton Heath Golf Club to earn one of 15 spots available at the qualifier. He proudly shared the achievement with the world shortly afterward.

Reigning U.S. Junior Amateur champion Min Woo Lee also competed in qualifying in England, but fell short of earning a spot after rounds of 74-68.

Scott Lipsky  is the manager of websites and digital platforms for the USGA. Email him at silpsky@usga.org.

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