Monday 19 March 2018

Mark Wiebe defeats Bernhard Langer in dramatic play-off to clinch Senior Open Championship

USA's Mark Wiebe in action at Royal Birkdale
USA's Mark Wiebe in action at Royal Birkdale

Mark Wiebe has won his first Senior Open Championship after he beat Bernhard Langer following five play-off holes at Royal Birkdale.

The duo resumed their battle for the title this morning after organisers called a halt to proceedings last night after Langer and Wiebe halved two play-off holes played in near darkness.

Germany's Langer fired a bogey at his fifth attempt on the 18th as Wiebe got down in two to find par and claim victory.

Langer blew a two-stroke lead on the final hole to enter into a play-off with Wiebe, with the 55-year-old American finally succeeding in the sudden-death play-off in perfect conditions in Southport at 8am this morning.

It was the first time in its 27-year history that the tournament concluded on a Monday and Langer blinked first as he narrowly missed a putt for par from six feet.

Wiebe has never won a major title - his best result was a tie for 12th place in the PGA Championship in 1989 - and he was surprised to win this event in the manner he did.

"I'm a little tired, I'll tell you that. I was surprised that Bernie missed his putt because he's a great putter, he's a great player. It just was my time," Wiebe told Sky Sports 1.

"The golf course is unbelievably demanding and whether it's a play-off or during the round.

"I try to play the play-offs like I was playing the tournament. I just got a few extra holes in.

"Matchplay is different. I have never been in a play-off in a major championship either so I was a first-timer. I just tried to play the golf course as good as I could."

Wiebe also admitted he had never played in near darkness before as the pair began the play-off in dramatically failing light last night.

He said: "I have never done that so that was unusual but I think we would have both liked to have played because of our schedule.

"Obviously it was really dark at that second hole and mother nature always wins. I just figured that this is par for the course and we will go at it again at eight and here we are."

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