Friday 24 November 2017

Langer admits 'major error' cost him Senior Open title

Alasdair Reid

Mark Wiebe emerged from the shadows, in every sense, to take victory in the Senior British Open, pipping Bernhard Langer to the title at the fifth extra hole of a sudden-death play-off.

Wiebe (55), from Oregon, with just two PGA Tour wins to his name, struck when Langer bogeyed the 18th after leaving his approach short.

The pair had played the first two holes of their play-off the previous evening, but fading light ended play and they were obliged to return to the course at 8.0 yesterday, the first time in its 27-year history that the tournament had gone into a fifth day.

On the first hole yesterday, Langer passed over a golden chance to clinch victory when he missed a 12-foot birdie putt. However, the German (55), a two-time Masters champion, said the critical error had come on Sunday when, after two lengthy rain delays, he wasted a two-shot lead by double-bogeying the 72nd hole after failing to escape from a greenside bunker.

"It really was my tournament to win or lose coming down 18," said Langer. "I made a major error by taking on the green. I should have just laid up short of the bunkers, chipped it up, made two putts and got out of there with a bogey. But I made that mistake, got a bad lie in the bunker, and here we go.

"In the play-off anybody can win. It comes down to one good shot or one bad shot. And that's what happened. Mark is a very deserving champion."

Wiebe, who had been struggling with a back problem ahead of the tournament, had earned his play-off place with a superb final round of 66. His victory earns him a place in next year's British Open at Hoylake, as well as a winner's cheque of £207,000.

"I'm a little tired," Wiebe admitted. "I'm glad it's over, and I'm honoured. I just was luckier." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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