Langer enjoys senior moment
Former Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer handed Corey Pavin the first of hopefully two defeats on European soil this season in denying the current USA captain victory in the British Senior Open at Carnoustie yesterday.
Langer (53) sealed his first Senior Major and a 12th over-50s title in carding a 72 to win by a stroke with a five-under-par tally on the links where Padraig Harrington captured the first of his three Majors.
Langer began the closing round three ahead of Pavin and despite back-to-back bogeys mid-round along with a another dropped shot at the last hole, the German was never headed in accepting the first-prize cheque of just over €245,000.
"This victory ranks very high and pretty close to my two US Masters championships and some of the Ryder Cup stuff I won; it's definitely in the top 10 and it's a thrill to finally hold this trophy," said Langer.
"I have always wanted to win the Open Championship and this is the next best thing. I probably will not win the Open Championship but I am very pleased to win the Senior Open Championship on a great golf course like Carnoustie."
Pavin heads to this week's US Senior Open near Seattle after signing for a 70 and will return to Europe later in September for the much-awaited Ryder Cup showdown at Celtic Manor.
"It is tough when you almost win and it's almost harder when you just finish second and not win so it's disappointing," he said. "I played well, and Bernhard didn't play his best today but he did what he needed to do to win and I just came up short.
"But as for the Ryder Cup it's going to start getting interesting after the PGA when eight players make it on points and then I have some thinking to do for a few weeks before my four picks. That will actually be the most fun part for me when that starts happening."
Meanwhile, Des Smyth singled out Rory McIlroy to capture this week's Irish Open straight after a level-par 71 for a seven-over-par tally on the course where Smyth made his British Open debut in 1975.
"Rory was second favourite going to The Open and you would have to fancy him at Killarney," said Smyth. "But as for this event I was happy with my final round as I had struggled early in the week. And even 35 years after I played here for the first time, it's still a very hard golf course and probably the most challenging course we have on our Tour schedule.
"It's a great Open Championship course as we saw with Padraig three years ago. You always get a worthy Open Champion here at Carnoustie."
Denis O'Sullivan is heading home and will spend some time on the range with his Charleville Golf Club professional son, Jamie, after a closing round 75 for a 14-over-par tally.
"I holed two good putts on Friday to make the cut but nothing after that," said O'Sullivan," he said. "So I will spend a bit of time with my son Jamie down at Charleville before coming back to St Andrews for the Scottish Seniors next month.
"However, it's been a good week and I've enjoyed playing Carnoustie for a first time. But it's such a tough golf course, and probably the toughest competition course I've played with all but four of the tees forward today."