Bernhard Langer is targeting a fifth win at The Senior Open Presented by Rolex when Europe’s Senior Major gets under way at Gleneagles later this week (21-24 July).
The German is already the most successful player in the history of the Senior Open, having lifted the title twice at Royal Porthcawl and once at both Carnoustie Golf Links and Royal Lytham & St Annes, and he comes into this week with further success on his mind.
“I’m hoping not to be just a number out there. I’m hoping to be in contention, to have a chance to win that is just my nature. When the time comes when I am playing for 50th or 80th spot every week, then it is time to hang it up,” said Langer.
“I don’t think there is a trick to staying motivated. You just have to ask yourself why you are doing this. I love what I am doing. And God has given me a great gift to be very good, naturally and you put hard work with it and that usually produces some good fruit.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing in Scotland. Scotland and Ireland the people just know the game, everyone seems to play it, the butcher, the baker, anybody has a golf bag, in the house or the back yard somewhere. They are very knowledgeable, and it is just fun playing in front of them, it is a great atmosphere and a wonderful experience.”
The double Masters Tournament winner is one of 16 Major Champions on show at Gleneagles this week, with two-time winner of The Open and 2008 US PGA Champion Pádraig Harrington making his Senior Open debut, while South African Ernie Els, who has also has two Claret Jugs to his name, makes his second appearance in the event.
The 52-year-old, who also won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997, finished in a tie for eighth place at Sunningdale Golf Club in 2021, one of six top ten finishes in Senior Majors since he made his debut at the 2020 Bridgestone Senior Players Championship.
Els commented: “There’s so much different golf but the game was born here and started here and everywhere you go, it’s just a wonderful experience. St Andrews last week, the Old Course, very different experience to here.
“But this is special because everything is old here, all the courses are old here. It’s really played with the lay of the land in mind and same with this one. You’ve got greens up on the hill, and you go down and there’s a lot of elevation change and it’s wonderful golf and very different from St Andrews but still playing in Scotland.
“I’m still relatively young on this circuit and I feel I’ve got a lot of opportunity to do good things. There’s a lot of good players that’s coming through but I still feel if I play good golf, I can win tournaments.
“Saying that, I’ve only won twice but I feel I can do good things and I feel comfortable around here. As I say, I’ve always felt comfortable playing in Scotland and winning The Open here and The Scottish Open. I’ve always enjoyed it so hopefully I can enjoy this week and play good golf.”
Stephen Dodd won his maiden Senior Major title in this event at Sunningdale last year, birdieing the final hole for a one-stroke victory over Miguel Ángel Jiménez, the 2018 Champion, and the Welshman will defend his title on the King’s Course this week.
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