As the Senior Open Championship, conducted by The R&A, began last week, Bernhard Langer was feeling a little under the weather. Considering the weather conditions for the first two rounds at Royal Porthcawl in Wales, that would have seemed to be a bad recipe for success. The 2011 U.S. Senior Open champion had a bad case of laryngitis and was told by doctors to stay in bed.
But this was the final senior major championship of the season, being contested on a course on which the uber-competitive Langer won by 13 strokes three years ago.
So despite the illness, the Germany native decided to give it a go. And by Sunday, Langer had registered his third Senior Open victory and 10th senior major title. Thanks to a third-round 65, Langer posted a three-stroke win over 1995 U.S. Open champion Corey Pavin. Langer (4-under 280) and Pavin were the only competitors to finish under par for 72 holes.
The challenging conditions caused scores to soar during the first two rounds, some into the 90s. Despite getting off to a rough start in Round 1, Langer managed a 2-under 69 and followed with rounds of 74-65-72.
“All my colleagues kept reminding me of that and when I got to the first tee on Thursday [and] I hit my first tee shot straight into a gorse bush,” said Langer of his inauspicious start. “So yes, it ended a lot better than it started. I had a sore throat for the whole week, was nowhere near 100 percent and probably shouldn’t have played. And that makes this even more meaningful.”