Bernhard Langer will go in search of his first title on home soil since 2001 when he tees it up at the WINSTONgolf Senior Open from July 19-21.
The record ten-time Senior Major Champion returns to WINSTONgolf, in Vorbeck, for the first time since 2016, when he finished in a share of third place. Two years prior, the German missed out on glory as Paul Wesselingh beat him on the third hole of a play-off, and his debut appearance at WINSTONgolf came in 2012 with a tied eighth result.
Back on home soil and continuing to challenge even at the age of 61, the two-time Masters Tournament winner will hope to be in contention when he battles it out for the title alongside a strong field, including Team Europe’s victorious 2012 Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal and four-time winner on the PGA Tour Champions Esteban Toledo.
“I hope to be with those at the very top this week,” he said. “Hopefully, I will be in the lead on Sunday and be able to take the trophy. But there is tough competition, and there are players from the whole world here, for example Marc McNulty and Esteban Toledo. It will definitely not be easy.
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“I no longer need to prove anything to anyone, and don’t need to play well to still have a job next year. Based on my past performances, I can go on playing as long as I please, but I really don’t win for others, I win for myself.
“In a few weeks’ time, I will be 62 years old and I’m really aware of that. I no longer feel like a 40-year-old, nor even like a 50-year-old. A few younger guys come along and hit past me easily now; that didn’t happen in the past.
“The competition is constantly becoming tougher, and I will certainly find things increasingly difficult in the next few years, but it’s an entirely natural process. Ageing cannot be held back.”
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The WINSTONgolf Senior Open returns to the WINSTONopen course for the first time since 2015, when Pedro Linhart came out on top. It brings a change to the links-style course the Staysure Tour stars have had to tackle in the previous three occasions, but the World Golf Hall of Fame Member, who is also a member at WINSTONgolf, is looking forward to the challenge.
“The course is in a super condition,” he said. “Firstly, you must hit the tee shot straight and leave yourself well placed, and secondly there is some high rough, bunkers and bushes, which must be avoided.
“The greens have many undulations, and you need to position the ball with an uphill putt rather than a difficult downhill one. On most occasions here at WINSTONgolf we also have to cope with a considerable wind, which always makes play especially difficult.”
The first round of the WINSTONgolf Senior Open gets under way at 9:00am local time, while Langer will tee it up at from the tenth tee at 10:40am alongside defending champion Stephen Dodd.