Langer moves clear in Seattle

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Bernhard Langer is closing in on back-to-back major titles after moving into the lead at the halfway stage of the U.S. Senior Open.

Bernhard Langer is closing in on back-to-back major titles after moving into a two-shot lead at the halfway stage of the U.S. Senior Open.

The German – who won last week’s British Senior Open at Carnoustie – added a second round 68 to his opening 69 at Sahalee Golf Club in Washington.

He is clear of John Cook, Tommy Armour III and JR Roth.

Langer is the only player with two rounds in the 60s on the par-70 layout and after a good day with the putter, he commented: “You never quite know. It’s the type of golf course that any hole can get to you. You just got to be careful and hit good shots.”

If he wins this this week, Langer would be the first player on the Champions Tour to win consecutive majors since Tom Watson in 2003. But Watson did not win those titles in back-to-back weeks with eight time zones in between.

“This is a big enough event to pick yourself up and get motivated and get moving,” Langer said. “I don’t have a lot of problems with that.”

Only four players finished the second round under par, with another four at level par, including hometown favorite Fred Couples and Watson. First-round leader Bruce Vaughan, who shot a 66 in the first round, fell out of contention after a dismal 82.

Former Masters champion Larry Mize was three-under on his round with two holes to play before a double bogey on his 17th hole. Loren Roberts seemed poised to join Langer at the top of the leaderboard before a double bogey at the 15th. Cook also made a pair of bogeys on his final three holes.

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