Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Bernhard Langer takes eight-shot lead at Senior British Open

BRIDGEND, Wales — Bernhard Langer stretched his lead to eight in the Senior British Open, shooting 3-under 68 Saturday at Royal Porthcawl.

The 56-year-old German matched the Champions Tour mark for largest 54-hole lead in a 72-hole event set by Jack Nicklaus in the 1991 Senior PGA. At 14-under 199, he tied the tournament 54-hole record set by Carl Mason at 14-under 196 in 2003 at Turnberry.

Langer, who opened with 65 and 66 for a seven-stroke lead, had four birdies and a bogey Saturday. He settled for birdie on the par-5 18th after missing an eagle from 10 feet. He dropped his only shot on the par-4 10th.

"I played very nicely, got off to a good start," he said. "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."

Langer won the 2010 tournament at Carnoustie and lost in a playoff last year at Royal Birkdale. He also led going into the final round at Turnberry in 2012, only to fade on the final day.

"It's very exciting," Langer said. "The only major European senior golf, and it's a beautiful trophy. It's a great title, and yeah, it would be very exciting to win a second one."

Langer won the Senior Players Championship last month for his third senior major victory and has three Champions Tour wins this year to push his career total to 21.

Canada's Rick Gibson was second after 66. American Bob Tway was 5 under after 66. Americans Tom Watson and Scott Dunlap and England's Chris Williams were tied for fourth at 4 under, and Scotland's Colin Montgomerie, American Fred Couples and England's Barry Lane were 3 under.

Montgomerie, seeking his third straight senior major title, played the back nine in 4-over 40 for 72.

"Bernhard's the best player out here and he's proving it," Montgomerie said. "I had a horrendous back nine, now the best I can do is second."

U.S. women eliminated: Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu both birdied the first playoff hole as South Korea eliminated the top-seeded United States and earned a wild-card berth in the final round of the International Crown in Owings Mills, Md. The Koreans join Spain, Thailand, Japan and Sweden today in a duel for the title. After the American team of Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson beat sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn 3 and 2, Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum and Onnarin Sattayabanphot edged the team of Paula Creamer and Stacy Lewis 1-up to leave the U.S. team in third place in Pool A. South Korea, the third-place finisher in Pool B, called upon Park and Ryu to face Kerr and Thompson in a wild-card playoff on the par-5 16th. Thompson missed her 10-foot putt for birdie, and the other three made birdies. According to the unique wild-card format, that eliminated the United States.

PGA: When Jim Furyk tees off in the Canadian Open today, it will be exactly 1,400 days since his last PGA Tour win. The 44-year-old is in position to end that drought after his 5-under 65 in the third round at Royal Montreal. His bogey-free round gave him a three-stroke advantage, at 15-under 195, over South Africa's Tim Clark, who had the round of the day, a bogey-free 64. Through 54 holes, Furyk has just one bogey — on the fourth hole of Thursday's first round.