Two tied for the lead on Champions Tour as Langer defies the odds yet again

Mark McGowan

Bernhard Langer (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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Forget easing back into Champions Tour life for Bernhard Langer as the German defied the odds yet again, just four months after rupturing his Achilles and returning to action in early May, aided by a cart.

Less than a month later the 66-year-old shot his age or better for the 15th time on the Champions Tour circuit and is just a shot back of Ernie Els and Rod Pampling going into the final round.

Langer’s 63 saw him shoot up the leaderboard to join Stephen Ames at -13, with David Duval one further back on what is a heavily stacked leaderboard and what’s even more impressive about Langer’s feat is that the course should favour the big hitters of which he’s never been one, especially not as he eases back into the fold after surgery and recuperation.

“The way they renovated it, it’s even more of a bomber’s paradise. Or it wasn’t before,” Langer said. “Before it was the type of course where a Jerry Kelly or somebody that drove it really straight, Joe Durant, those type of players. Balls coming out of the rough is not easy here, but now they’ve — like I’m looking here at No. 10 and No. 8, the biggest fairway in the world, and 18, the long guys can drive the green. Someone like me, I drove it as good as I could just to get it over the bunker, things like that. They can reach all the par 5s, I struggle to reach some of them.

“So length is always important, but yeah, this used to be about precision and it’s a little bit less about it but still important.”

Darren Clarke shot a two-under 70 to end the day tied for 60th.


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