Langer leads Senior Open by two

Bernhard Langer claimed a two shot lead in the opening round of The Senior Championship at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club on Thursday.

Langer, playing in Wales’ first Senior Major Championship, carded seven birdies while dropping only one shot for a six under par round of 65.

The only fault on his score card came on the 16th, but the German immediately struck back with birdies on the closing holes.

This would have satisfied Langer who could have been a Senior Masters champion last year, had he not lead the lead slip on the final hole at Royal Birkdale and eventually lost in a play-off to Mark Wiebe.

Of all the iconic names in action, only Langer and five others managed to finish under par.

“Whenever you’re under par on a course like this, it’s a good round, and to be six under is very satisfying,” Langer told the European Tour’s official website.

“I played smart. I played pretty good. Not everything was great, but there was a lot of good and some great in it, and I didn’t make too many mistakes and that’s what it comes down to at the end.”

His birdies on the final two holes ensured that he moved past early starter Bob Tway who held the clubhouse lead.

Tway, who won the 1986 US PGA Championship made a solid start as he carded birdies on the first, sixth, 12th and 13th holes in a blemish-free round of 67 – this despite a limited knowledge of links golf.

“I think as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate links golf over here more and more,” said Tway.

“When I was young I didn’t pay enough attention to it, and you have to because it’s such a contrast to what we play on at home.

“I just think this golf course is great. We don’t get to play this type of golf ever, especially when the ball’s running this fast. So it was a pleasure just to play a nice round of golf on a fantastic course.”

Meanwhile Scotland’s Andrew Oldcorn is four shots off the pace following a two under par round of 69, with Canadian Rick Gibson, winner of the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open earlier this month, a further shot back alongside Spaniard Pedro Linhart.