Mark Wiebe won his first Champions Tour major on Monday. (How/Getty Images)
By PGATOUR.COM staff
Bernhard Langer and Mark Wiebe are in a sudden-death playoff at The Senior Open Chamionship presented by Rolex. After each made two pars in a playoff on No. 18 Sunday, darkness settled in. The competitors resumed their two-man game at 8 a.m. local time (3 a.m. ET) Monday morning. Stay here for updates on the action.
3:53: After missing right on the fourth hole, Langer misses left on the fifth and Mark Wiebe, with a par on the fifth playoff hole, wins the Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex.
3:52 a.m.: Langer's touchy pitch shot lands just over the bunker but rolls about 10 feet past the hole. He'll be on a line similar to his last par putt. Wiebe's long birdie bid settles within a few inches and he taps in for par. Langer must make to extend the playoff.
3:48 a.m.: Langer comes up well short with his approach shot but it settles just behind the short-right bunker both players found on the previous hole. Wiebe, who couldn't see the flag from his lie, hits a low shot that rolls just right of the same bunker and up onto the front of the green.
3:42 a.m.: Langer doesn't make the same mistake off the tee but misses to the left this time with his ball settling just in the first cut of rough. Wiebe drops back to a 3-wood and also goes left, finding the second cut of rough. Slight advantage to Langer.
3:36 a.m.: After watching Langer miss his par attempt on the right, Wiebe misses short and right. Both players tap in for bogey and will return to the 18th tee for the fifth time in this playoff (third time this morning).
3:33 a.m.: Langer blasts first and lands it short but the ball releases about 12 feet beyond the hole. Wiebe flies his bunker blast farther but it checks up better and settles just inside Langer's. He'll have a putt on a similar line after getting a read from Langer.
3:30 a.m.: Langer gouges out of the tall stuff with a 5-iron and his ball trickles into a greenside bunker short and left. Wiebe, from 194 yards, flies his ball into the same bunker. He'd just carried it with his approach in the day's first playoff hole (the third of the championship).
3:27 a.m.: Langer hits first and misses the fairway to the right. He will be gouging out of the tall rough. Wiebe steps up second and hits a perfect drive down the middle. Advantage: Wiebe.
3:22 a.m.: Langer misses just left and taps in. Wiebe converts his par putt and we return to the 18th tee for the fourth time in this sudden-death playoff.
3:20 a.m.: Wiebe uses his putter from off the back of the green and leaves his birdie bid about three feet short. Langer has a putt for his second Senior Open title in four years.
3:15 a.m.: Langer hits his second shot the perfect distance and it settles pin-high inside 20 feet. Wiebe lands his ball just short of the green over a bunker short-left and it rolls off the back of the green. Advantage: Langer.
3:05 a.m.: Two solid drives for Langer and Wiebe on the 18th hole. Both are in very good position to attack the flag on this very difficult par-4. They've gone par-par twice already in this playoff.
Bernhard Langer and Tom Lehman won the 2009 Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf and are teammates again. (Martin/Getty Images)
Tom Lehman and Bernhard Langer took some time to answer fan questions today from the Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf. You can see their answers below.
Langer: No, I never went that far. I've learned over the years to not get ahead of yourself because that's the worst thing you can do as an athlete. I've done that the very first time I led a golf tournament, I was leading the Irish Open and I was thinking, oh, how much money are you going to make, what are you going to do with it, what are you going to say at the prize giving, and three holes later I wasn't leading anymore. So that was a very expensive but a good lesson, and ever since then I'm trying to avoid those thoughts. I know there's a lot of golf to be played and try to stay in the present and not in the future, not get ahead of myself. So I didn't have any of those thoughts, I was just playing every hole and just playing as good as I could.
Question: If you could be paired with any golfer, living or dead, who would it be and why? (From Facebook: Valerie Brideau)
Langer: Well, I would choose Ben Hogan because I never had the pleasure to play Ben Hogan. I actually never met him. I played with many of the greats. I had the pleasure of seeing Gene Sarazen and Arnie and Jack and Tiger and Byron Nelson, but never had the pleasure of playing or meeting Ben Hogan.
Lehman: I would have to say, we'll keep it to Fort Worth, that would be Byron Nelson. That would be a fun match.
Question: Bernhard, what do you think of most when you're putting -- aim, distance, speed; and do you use any sort of putting aid? (From Facebook: Terry Ernstad)
Langer: I use the line on the ball for aim because when I don't have the line, my eyes are not very good. Because we're not looking straight down the line, we're looking sideways and I have a tendency to aim left, so that line on the ball helps me a little bit. And I have a line on the putter so when I line these two up, it gives me good visual, plus it gives me the knowledge when I stand over the putt, I'm aligned good now so all I now have to focus on is proper speed. So when I putt, I'm really thinking of making a stroke that has the right speed for the line I picked. Before I had those lines on the putter and the ball, I was often concerned, oh, are you lining correctly or not, and then I was thinking about lining up and forgot to hit it or something like that.
Question: When you find your timing and/or rhythm in question... what do you do to get it back? (From Facebook: Marty Mash)
Lehman: I tend to not get that way very often, although I used to. I think I used to get that way because I would hit so many drivers on the practice tee. I think everybody learns their own little way. Some guys, they love to hit drivers and long irons on the practice range. I find when I do that, I start swinging harder and harder and harder and my rhythm gets off. When I practice, I hit 90 percent of my shots with wedges or maybe a 9 iron at the most, mostly sand wedges or pitching wedges, to find the rhythm of my swing. I feel if I can hit a wedge solid, I'm going to hit my driver solid. If my rhythm is good with my wedge, it's going to be good with my driver. I very seldom struggle on the course with my rhythm. But if I do there's just a few things. First thing is relaxing your arms, your shoulders, your hands, so I try to take a very, very soft grip on the club and really relax my arms so I don't take it away, snatch it away right off the bat. The first two feet away from the ball is usually where you mess it up. If you get it moving smoothly away from the ball, chances are you're going to have a more successful shot.
Two-time Masters champ Bernhard Langer enters the final round in the top 10. (Redington/Getty Images)
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Bernhard Langer enters Sunday's final round of the Masters tied for ninth. It's the first time in nine years that Langer has entered any round at Augusta National inside the top 10 on the leaderboard.
Langer was still playing on the PGA TOUR back then. Now he's 55 years old and a dominant force on the Champions Tour. He's five shots off the lead, but if he can conjure up a bit of magic like he's done twice before at the Masters ... well, who knows.
The German-born Langer knows it's difficult for a senior player to win a major on a long golf course like Augusta National.
"But at the same time, I say it's going to happen that a senior player is going to win a major championship," said Langer, who won the Masters in 1985 and 1993. "Tom Watson almost did it obviously on a lot shorter golf course (Turnberry in 2009). Fred Couples can do it any given moment, and there's a few of us that might do it too."
Despite his dominance on the Champions Tour -- 17 wins, including the ACE Group Classic earlier this year -- Langer hasn't exactly been productive in recent years at Augusta National. He's missed the cut in his last six appearances and had not shot a round in the 60s in his last 17 rounds coming into this week.
He still hasn't dipped into the 60s, but his rounds of 71-71-72 this week leave him at 2 under. He enters the final round tied with England's Lee Westwood as low European.
And there's only one way he will treat Sunday's final round.
"Play as attacking as I possibly can," Langer said. "I'm very aggressive, at times overaggressive, and it cost me a couple of times, but at other times it paid off, so that's just the way the golf course is.
"This course is too hard for me to play safe."
UPDATE (2:35 P.M. ET) -- Langer has started his round with three consecutive birdies. That moves him to 5 under, just two shots off the lead with Snedeker and Cabrera about to tee off.
UPDATE (5:05 P.M. ET) -- After his fast start, Langer has fallen back. He is 5 over on his first four holes on the back nine, with a bogey at the 10th and double bogeys at the 12th and 13th holes.
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Even during the four-round marathon that is the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, it’s hard to resist the projections and permutations that play out as the Schwab Cup race nears its end.
Through 14 holes in the opening round at Desert Mountain’s Cochise Course, Bernhard Langer was opening the door for Tom Lehman.
Langer leads the year-long race by 211 points over Lehman, meaning Lehman needs a strong finish and Langer a poor one. And midway through the back nine in Round 1, Langer was stuck at 1 over while Lehman was three shots ahead at 2 under.
But Langer, the 2010 Schwab Cup champion, didn’t build this year’s Schwab Cup cushion without salvaging some rounds. He did it again on Thursday, birdieing three of the last four holes to finish in red figures at 1 under, one shot behind Lehman in their marquee pairing.
“I was very happy with my finish,” Langer said. “I played some good golf coming in.”
Langer is tied for 14th in the event, while Lehman is T11. That’s not enough of a gap for Lehman, the defending Schwab Cup champion, to overtake Langer.
Roger Chapman, the other man who figures into the Schwab Cup scenarios, is also T14 after a 1-under 69. He has to win the tournament to have a shot at the $1 million payout.
Check out the top five shots of the week from the CIMB Classic, AT&T Championship, and Web.com Tour Championship featuring Justin Bolli, Bernhard Langer, Jeff Overton, Nick Watney, and Tiger Woods.
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Tiger Woods didn’t need it, but Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler, Steve Stricker, Luke Donald and amateur Patrick Cantlay – to name a few – did.
What was it? The 10-shot rule.
After two rounds, the Masters cuts to the low 44 players and ties and anyone within 10 shots of the lead. That meant Woods slid in on his own (147, T-40) while the others needed those two shots of grace to make the cut at 5-over 149.
Sixty three players in all made the cut.
Stricker and Bradley shot 77s, but eased in at 4-over 148 along with Fowler and Donald. Cantlay shot 78, but made it at 149.
Who didn’t make it? Among others, former Masters champions Mike Weir, Jose Maria Olazabal, Larry Mize and Tom Watson (151) , Bernhard Langer and Rory Sabbatini, who both shot 80s Friday and finished at 152, Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa (153) and Darren Clarke, who shot 81 and finished at 154.
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
If you’re reading this and haven’t finished (or started) shopping for the golfer in your life, you know you’re under the gun. Fortunately there’s help online, from the good ( our holiday gift guide) to the very, very bad.
For what not to buy, check out the “10 stupidest golf gifts” from Golfdigest.com. To sum it up – goofy headcovers aren’t so cool anymore, scoring computers shouldn’t replace scorecards, loud pants are best left to John Daly and “adjustable club” doesn’t mean one club that changes into other clubs.
Running out of time is no excuse for the bad golf gift.
PERRY’S MOVE: Kenny Perry, a first-time winner on the Champions Tour in 2011, will return in 2012 with a new equipment deal. The longtime TaylorMade player is switching to Adams Golf, playing Speedline woods and Idea hybrids and irons.
Other prominent Adams players on the Champions Tour include Michael Allen and former Schwab Cup
WEDGE GAME: The personalization aftermarket for wedges is turning into big business. It’s not enough anymore to choose a loft and a metal finish, not with multicolored paintfills and shaftbands plus engraved initials and even entire names. Cleveland is the latest to join the party, with its mycustomwedge.com website. (You can tinker with different designs without purchasing.)
Titleist and wedge designer Bob Vokey have been in the customization business for a while at vokey.com, and makes its new SM4 wedges available for personalization in January. New engravings (pictured) are among the customization options.
A 15TH CLUB?: Titleist had some fun with its TOUR pros, asking what they would put in their bag if a 15th club was allowed. Check out the video here. Some opted for wedges, some for hybrids. What would you want?
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
SAN FRANCISCO – Remember Bernhard Langer?
OK, that’s a little overdramatic considering he’s the defending Schwab Cup champion. But this season hasn’t been anything like his usual on the Champions Tour, due to a run of injuries.
Langer’s hoping to end it on an upswing, however, sitting at 3 under in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship after a round of 68 Friday. He’s one shot behind co-leaders Michael Allen, Fred Couples and David Frost.
A win in the season finale would actually be his second of the year, but his February win at the ACE Group Classic may as well be many years ago.
“Sure seems that way,” Langer said. “Last three years, I was winning a regular basis, every four, five, six events. It’s been a tough year health-wise.”
Not long after that win he had surgery on his left thumb, injured in a freak bicycle accident. He missed four months, more than what he was led to believe.
“The surgeon made it sound pretty simple: ‘We can take care of that, you’ll be back on Tour in eight weeks,’” Langer said. “It was healed after eight weeks, but then I developed arthritis in those two joints. It’s been an uphill battle ever since.”
He also had fluid drained from his left knee after the British Open and has battled left ankle problems.
Langer had two top-10s in Champions Tour majors over the summer, but hasn’t had a top-5 since the February win. He came to TPC Harding Park 22nd in points, far from being able to defend his Schwab Cup.
But his game is returning, evidenced by Friday’s 68. He missed just two fairways and took 25 putts for the round, the best in the 30-man field
“I feel like I’m now not scared,” Langer said. “I know (the thumb’s) going to hurt on certain shots, but I’m going after the ball. I just take the pain, it goes away after 10 seconds. Not like a toothache that’s constant.”