Thursday, July 21, 2016

 No reason why senior pros cannot improve,
 says Bernhard Langer

Ryder Cup legend Bernhard Langer believes that players on the European Senior Tour can continue to push boundaries, starting with this week's Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex.
Langer, a ten-time Ryder Cup player and former European Captain, is currently two shots behind the leaders at Carnoustie Golf Links, but remains confident ahead of Friday’s second round.
“I feel like my game is very close,” said Langer. “I just have to try and hit a few more quality iron shots and get a little closer to the hole.
“I’m right there, you can’t win the tournament on the first day. You can lose it by messing up real bad, but there’s a lot of golf to be played.”

On the US Champions Tour, Langer has competed in 11 events in 2016, winning three and finishing in the top ten on six more occasions.
At this year’s Senior Open, he is bidding to emulate the feats of Gary Player and Tom Watson and become the third player to win the senior Claret Jug on three occasions.
“I think we can still get better – I truly believe that,” said Langer. “I’m convinced that you can become a better golfer as you mature. Because I’ve had more years to work on my technique, I can still become a better ball striker.
“I may lose some distance, I may lose some strength and flexibility, but I might have a better understanding of my own swing and what works and what doesn’t.
“I’ve certainly played tremendous golf over the last ten or 12 years, and I had some great years before that too.
“A lot of the game is mental too. You need to be hungry or eager to do well, which I think most of the field here are, or they wouldn’t fly halfway around the world just to see Carnoustie. They want to play well.”

During his busiest periods on the European Tour, Langer played in as many as 23 events in a single campaign. He now believes that regular breaks throughout the season contribute to his longevity in professional golf.
“I’ve learned to pace myself,” he said. “A few years ago, you just played whatever tournament there was, you just entered and played. One time I played 11 in a row.
“Now, two or three is pretty much the most. I’ve learned what’s good for me. You’ve got to listen to yourself and your body. I don’t like going more than two, really. Every once in a while I go three if I absolutely have to.

“I put the clubs away for a week or four or five days, even in the middle of the season and just do other stuff. I think that’s good for me. It gives me a chance to come back and think ‘let’s get back into it and work on it again’, instead of ‘I’ve got to play another this, or another that, just dragging along.’

Woody emerges from "long stretch of ugliness" with a four-under 68

CARNOUSTIE (AP) -- Woody Austin made four birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine and finished with a 4-under 68 to take the first-round lead in the Senior British Open.
The 52-year-old Austin rebounded from bogeys on Nos. 9 and 10 with birdies on 11, 12, 14 and 16. He has struggled after winning three times in four events this year on the US PGA Champions Tour.
''It seems, I forgot how to play after that,'' Austin said. ''It's been really bad since. It's been unfortunately a long stretch of really ugliness.''
Mark O'Meara was a stroke back along with Carlos Franco, Esteban Toledo, Joe Durant, Tom Byrum, Scott McCarron and Peter Fowler. Franco, from Paraguay, qualified Monday.
The wind was 10-15 mph at Carnoustie Golf Links with a mix of sun and clouds and a high in the 60s.
''I think the rain yesterday softened the course a little bit,'' O'Meara said. ''We were pretty fortunate. The wind laid down just a little bit in the middle of our round out there, so it was a little bit more playable. But Carnoustie is a very demanding golf course. You have to drive the ball well. You have to be accurate with your iron shots, and then you've got to putt well.''
Austin won the last of his four non-senior US PGA Tour titles in the 2013 Sanderson Farms Championship.
''I'm not into grinding,'' Austin said. ''I'm not into beating a bunch of balls anymore. I did that for my 40 years. I'm done. So, I go home, I play with my kids, I play with my family. I own a golf course. I help run the golf course. I try to do the things I need to do there.
"You'll find me sometimes weeding, jumping on a mower and mowing. I hit balls usually maybe Saturday and Sunday the week before I go back out. That's it. That's my preparation. The only time I work on (my golf)  is when I get to the golf course.''
Bernhard Langer, the winner in 2010 at Carnoustie, had a 71.
Defending champion Marco Dawson opened with as 72. He won last year at Sunningdale.
Michael Bradley had a 74 in his senior debut. He won four times on the regular US PGA Tour.





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