Clarke and Harrington off the pace as Langer hunts record 46th win

Ronan MacNamara

Bernhard Langer in media interviews prior to The Senior Open Presented by Rolex at The King's Course in Gleneagles. (Photo by Phil Inglis/Getty Images)

Darren Clarke is nine shots off the lead while Pádraig Harrington is eleven as Bernhard Langer stretched his advantage to two shots heading into the final round at the US Senior Open Championship.

Clarke carded a credible level-par 71 to lie in 13th place on three-over while defending champion Harrington saw his chances end after a horror start as he signed for a two-over 73.

Harrington opened with a birdie but soon found himself three over through five holes after back to back bogeys and a seven on the par-5 5th. He compounded his misery with a bogey on 8.


He rebounded with three birdies in five holes on the back nine before his second double bogey on the par-4 15th was followed by a birdie on 16.

All eyes will be on 65-year-old Langer who has certainly used the short nature of Stevens Point to his advantage as he carded a 68 to lead by two on nine-under-par with Jerry Kelly in second and Steve Stricker in third on three-under.

Major champions YE Yang and Retief Goosen lie in wait on -1.

German legend Langer is bidding for a record 46th Champions Tour win to finally overtake Hale Irwin.

“No, it’s not on my mind at all. Hopefully my mind will not wander anywhere but on the next shot. That’s the secret to playing the best golf.

“I felt really good. Got off to a dream start. My first five shots were as good as I can hit them, plus two really good putts. Started birdie-birdie, and had another birdie opportunity on 3, which I missed. Hit the ball really nicely, and then missed the fairway on 4, which led to a bogey.

“Then another dream shot into 5, the par-5. Had to go over the trees, sort of a blind shot with lots of carry and all that, and turned out great, so I had an eagle putt, which I missed.

“Played really solid. Got a little shaky there in the middle and had to save a few pars. I think the greens slowed up a little bit somewhere along the line.Left a couple of putts short, long putts, and then had to make four- to six-footers, which is not my favourite distance. But I was fortunate enough to make them.”

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