The 2014 Senior Open Championship at the Royal Porthcawl Golf Club in Porthcawl, Wales, concluded on Sunday, and the winner was German star Bernhard Langer who took the win with a final score of 18-under-par.
Unlike the 2014 Open Championship, the scoring for the Senior Tour event hasn't been nearly as robust. At the completion of the event, only five golfers remained under par. Compare that to 46 under par once the Open Championship finished up.
Like last week, this year's Senior Open Championship has failed to create much drama. One golfer is running away with the tournament, leaving only destruction in his wake.
Few saw Rickie Fowler or Sergio Garcia's final-day surges, though, so perhaps somebody lower down the leaderboard will make a move on Sunday and bring some intrigue to what's been a one-sided event so far.
Leaderboard (via EuropeanTour.com)
|T3||Tom Pernice Jr.||-2||78||64||70||70|
|T8||Miguel Angel Jimenez||+1||74||69||74||68|
After carrying an eight-shot lead into Sunday’s fourth and final round, Langer took home the 2014 Senior British Open with an incredible final score of 18-under-par.
Langer was 13 shots ahead of second-place finisher Colin Montgomerie.
Not only was his -18 score the new record for the Open Championship, but he also was the only player in the event who scored in the 60s in all four rounds of the major. This was Langer’s second title at the British Open.
Despite racking up five bogeys during the tournament, Langer racked up an astounding 23 birdies to set up his dominant win. With his driver ringing true and his putting as accurate as ever, he stole the show throughout the weekend.
Bernhard Langer, ever young at 56, shoots 18 under, wins by 13, on 'harder course than Hoylake'. Ryder Cup wild card? Europe could do worse— jeremy chapman (@jeremychapman3) July 27, 2014
When Langer was asked before the final round about his confidence and focus, he told Mike Dawes of the Daily Mail, “I am one step closer. I still have 18 holes to go. It's nice to have an eight-shot lead but I have still got to keep my head down tomorrow and hit a lot of good golf shots and make some putts and play smart.”
Langer won the Masters tournament of the PGA Tour in 1885 and 1993, but found inconsistent success until make the transition to the senior tour. Since moving to the senior tour, he has won four majors and has added 25 top-10 finishes since 2008.
It’s clear that Langer is one of the best veteran golfers on tour and his reign of dominance is far from over.
Bernhard Langer's opened up a nearly insurmountable gap between himself and the second-placed golfer, Rick Gibson. With an eight-stroke cushion heading into the final day, the 56-year-old is a near lock to win the 2014 Senior Open Championship.
Having shot a six-under 65 in Round 1 and a five-under 66 in Round 2, Langer didn't need to do too much on Saturday to ensure he would be sitting pretty before the final round; he shot well enough to keep more than enough space between himself and Gibson.
Langer admitted after hitting the clubhouse that complacency might have crept in a little bit when he was on the course, per the Associated Press, via USA Today:
I played very nicely, got off to a good start. Then I maybe played a little safe for a couple of holes. I had a good touch, hit a couple of good trick shots toward the end, and drove the ball very well, hit some amazing straight drives and long drives. I mean the one on 18 I can't believe how far I went, but that's how it is right now. It's very bouncy and firm.
Anything short of a massive collapse, and Langer will be your champion come tomorrow.
Although they have little chance of winning the tournament, Scott Dunlap and Philip Walton were among the biggest movers on the day.
Dunlap rose 16 spots with his six-under 65 to jump into a tie for fourth, while Walton leapfrogged 54 places with his seven-under 64, which was the lowest score of the round. He sits in a tie for 13th. It also tied a course record, per the European Senior Tour:
While Walton will almost certainly not win the tournament, at least he made history on Saturday.
Another day, another round in which Langer finds himself at the top. After Day 1, he was followed closely behind by Bob Tway. After Friday, Tway's hardly within shouting distance, with Langer opening up a seven-stroke lead. Colin Montgomerie and Chris Williams are tied for second at four under.
Langer shot a 65 on Thursday and nearly equaled that on Friday, finishing one stroke worse, 66. Through two rounds, he's at 11 under.
His collapse in the final round of last year's Senior Open Championship has already been discussed. Following the second round on Thursday, Langer admitted that the disappointment still eats away at him.
"It still hurts when I think about it," he said, per the AP, via ESPN.com. "If you put me in that situation a hundred times, I think I would win 98 or 99."
He remains firmly in pole position to win this year and avenge that defeat. A lot can happen in the next two rounds, but with as well as Langer has shot, that doesn't look to be in the offing.
Tway shot a two-over 73 to bring his total score to two under. He's tied with Tom Watson and Pedro Linhart for fifth.
Last year, Langer had the Senior Open Championship in his grasp. Then he shot a 70 to open the door for Mark Wiebe. The two went into a playoff, which Langer lost on the fifth hole.
Having gotten so close only to watch Wiebe walk away with the title, Langer likely entered the Royal Porthcawl Golf Club on a mission of revenge.
With a blistering six-under 65, he took an early two-shot lead over Tway. A bogey on 16 was his only blemish on the day.
"Six under is very satisfying," said Langer, per the AP, via ESPN.com. "I played smart, some good, some great. I kept it out of the bunkers and out of the hay, and gave myself some opportunities. And I'm pleased with a birdie-birdie finish."
For Tway, being near the top of the leaderboard is somewhat foreign soil. His last win came over a decade ago, per the Golf Channel:
The winner of the 1986 PGA Championship finished up his round as the clubhouse leader before Langer overtook him. Fred Couples couldn't help but take notice of his great performance, per the Champions Tour:
Fred Couples (71) on Bob Tway's 67 #SeniorOpen. "I didn't see many 67s out there. That's a phenomenal round. The wind's blowing hard"— Champions Tour (@ChampionsTour) July 24, 2014
If Tway can make a move on Langer and stay there, it would be one of the biggest upsets ever on the Champions Tour.