BRIDGEND, Wales (AP) — Bernhard Langer ran away with the Senior British Open on Sunday for his fourth senior major title, finishing a Champions Tour-record 13 strokes ahead of Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie.
The 56-year-old German closed with a 4-under 67 at sunny and breezy Royal Porthcawl to finish at 18-under 266. He opened with rounds of 65, 66 and 68.
“The golf course is unbelievably tough,” Langer said. “To have this weather for four days is unreal, it’s like playing in Florida with a bit of wind. The secret was I didn’t make too many mistakes and my driver was very good and my long putting was excellent, although not quite today as I was lacking a little. Perhaps my lead was too big.”
Montgomerie, the winner of the previous two senior majors, finished with a 69.
“This was a brute of a golf course with no wind, never mind with the wind,” Montgomerie said. “But what I would like to say is that Bernhard Langer’s performance here is one of the golfing performances of all time. And I’d like to say, Rory McIlroy and his group of friends, bring it on here. … Remarkable, remarkable play and all credit to him.”
Langer broke the Champions Tour record for margin of victory of 12 set by Hale Irwin in the 1997 Senior PGA, and almost doubled Bob Charles’ tournament record of seven strokes set at Turnberry in 1989. Langer also matched the tournament record for relation to par set by Tom Watson at Turnberry in 2003.
“Just very blessed to be able to play such good golf and really enjoy the 18 holes today because there wasn’t too much pressure,” said Langer, who also won the 2010 tournament at Carnoustie and lost in a playoff last year at Royal Birkdale. “Still, had to, obviously, hit some decent shots and make some putts.”
The victory was Langer’s fourth of the season and 22nd overall on the 50-and-over tour. He earned a spot in the British Open next year at St. Andrews.
“That’s going to be a great highlight,” Langer said. “Another chance at The Open Championship and especially at St. Andrews, there’s no greater place to play golf than there.”
American Tom Pernice Jr., England’s Barry Lane and Canada’s Rick Gibson tied for third at 2 under.
Tom Watson and Fred Couples struggled. Watson had a 77 to tie for 10th at 2 over, and Couples closed with a 77 to tie for 13th at 4 over.