Bernhard Langer carded nine birdies in firing a 6-under-par 64 to move four shots ahead of Roger Chapman, John Huston, Tom Lehman, Corey Pavin and Tom Pernice, Jr. after 54 holes at the 33rd United States Open Championship. Langer's score at Indianwood was a career best in a senior major and left him at 10-under 200 through three rounds. He started fast with three straight birdies and quickly moved past a faltering Lance Ten Broeck, the 36-hole leader in the event. At one point in the day, Langer was eight-under for 12 holes and did not have a five on his scorecard. However, his double-bogey at the par-3 13th hole ended any chances of breaking Loren Roberts' record of 62 set at the 2006 U.S. Senior Open at Prairie Dunes in Kansas. Langer's nine birdies were the most in a round at the U.S. Senior Open since Russ Cochran had nine when he posted a 64 on Saturday at the 2009 championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind.
Bernhard Langer (66-70-64-200/-10)
• Langer's statistics thru 54 holes this week vs. 2010 at Sahalee:
• If he wins tomorrow, Bernhard Langer would become the first international player with multiple U.S. Senior Open titles since South African Gary Player claimed this championship in 1987 and 1988. Here's a list of the other foreign-born U.S. Senior Open champions:
|Langer in the majors|
• Langer is bidding to win for the first time on the Champions Tour in almost 17 months (2011 ACE Group Classic) and is looking to claim his 15th career title on the circuit. He's also gone 22 events since his last victory on the Champions Tour and his longest previous drought without a victory was 11 tournaments (2010 Boeing Classic-2011 ACE Group Classic).
• Langer is also looking to claim his third senior major championship. In 2010, Langer won the Senior British Open Championship at Carnoustie, Scotland and then traveled to Seattle and won the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee Country Club. If he should win tomorrow, he would join Miller Barber (1982, 1984, 1985), Gary Player (1987, 1988) , Jack Nicklaus (1991, 1993), Hale Irwin (1998, 2000) and Allen Doyle (2005, 2006) as a multiple winner of this championship.
• Langer is two for three when leading senior majors after three rounds. At the 2008 Senior PGA Championship at Oak Hill, Langer enjoyed a one-stroke advantage over Jay Haas and Jeff Sluman but finished second. At the 2010 Senior British Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, Langer was three strokes ahead of Corey Pavin and eventually defeated him by one stroke. One week later near Seattle, Langer and Couples were tied after three rounds of the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee and he went on to best Couples by three strokes.
• Langer's four-stroke advantage after three rounds is the largest in this championship since Bruce Lietzke was up four strokes on Vicente Fernandez and Tom Watson after 54 holes at the 2003 U.S. Senior Open at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. Lietzke went on to win by two over Watson that year.
• Langer's three-day total of 200 (10 under par) ties him for the third-lowest score through 54 holes in U.S. Senior Open history. Olin Browne set the record for the lowest score through 54 holes at last year's U.S. Senior Open at Inverness Club at 198 (15 under par).
• Langer captained the European Ryder Cup team to victory at Oakland Hills, winning the competition by the largest margin on U.S. soil.
• The winner has come from the last grouping on Sunday in 23 of the last 24 Champions Tour events. The streak reached 23 consecutive until Kirk Triplett came from the third-to-last grouping to win the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach last week.
• The winner of the U.S. Senior Open has come from the final group on Sunday five times in the last six years (2007, the exception).
• Since 1990, players leading or co-leading the U.S. Senior Open after the third round have gone on to win the championship 12 times, including each of the last four years. Thus far in 2012 on the Champions Tour, Saturday leaders/co-leaders have won nine of the 14 official events played. In the first three senior majors this year, Roger Chapman (Senior PGA Championship), Tom Lehman (Regions Tradition), and Joe Daley (Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship) all were 54-hole leaders/co-leaders who went on to win.
• Tomorrow's U.S. Senior Open champion will earn a check for $500,000, equaling the largest first-place check in Champions Tour history, from the $2.75 million purse. He will also earn a whopping 1,000 Charles Schwab Cup points. Tom Lehman, last year's Charles Schwab Cup winner, is currently 256 points ahead of Michael Allen and Bernhard Langer, the 2010 Schwab Cup champion, is third and just 407 points back of Lehman. Points are awarded throughout the year based on top-10 finishes and dollar amounts won in events on a per-thousand basis ($100,000 equals 100 Charles Schwab Cup points). In addition to double points in all five major championships this year, the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship offers double points to all players who qualify for the season-ending event at The Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., November 1-4.
• Russ Cochran withdrew before the start of his Saturday round with a back injury. He was T32 heading into the third round with a 36-hole score of 141. David Zink, the head professional at Indianwood Golf & Country Club, played as a marker with Kiyoshi Murota.
• There were 23 sub-par scores in the third round on Saturday of the 2012 U.S. Senior Open, which is the third most in history. The record for the most sub-par scores in the third round was set last year at Inverness Club with 34.