Bernhard Langer Remains a Consistent Contender at Harbor Shores
Bernhard Langer wants to be in the mix coming down the final stretch on Sunday at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. Friday, he took a significant step towards achieving that goal by carding his second consecutive round of 68 in cold, wet, and windy conditions to sit just two strokes off the lead heading into the weekend at Harbor Shores.
“The goal is to be either in the lead or close to the lead going into Sunday afternoon,” Langer said of his plan with 36 holes to play. “It's pretty bunched up, I believe, and will be.”
Friday, temperatures hovered in the mid-50s with squalls of rain showers and wind gusts upwards of 20 mph. While many players moved down the leaderboard in the challenging conditions, Langer was one of about a dozen players to record a sub-par round as he managed four birdies and a single bogey to climb inside the top five.
“It's nice to go below 70 on a day like this because it's not easy,” Langer said about his three-under par, 68. “The par-5s well, I could only get to maybe one or two yesterday, but even today most of them were not reachable. Even some of the par-4s and the par-3s just played longer because the colder weather and the different wind made a difference, too.”
Langer came into the season’s second major not quite sure what to expect from his game. He said he hasn’t played much since November and took off a few weeks leading up to the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship to attend his son’s college graduation. But even without what Langer considers his best game, he has given himself a chance heading into the weekend at Harbor Shores.
“Conditions were pretty rough,” Langer said after his round. “ It was cold today, much colder, and the ball, I think the modern golf ball, you can't compress it properly, and it just went nowhere at times. I miss-clubbed a couple times and fanned it out to the right early on, wasn't happy with my swing, and then it finally got better as the day goes on.”
The 11-time major winner on the senior circuit has a chance at making history this weekend. With 43 wins, Langer sits just two victories away from matching Hale Irwin’s all-time wins record on the PGA Tour Champions. A win on Sunday would put him just one win shy of the record. And, a victory would further cement his status as the all-time major winner on the PGA Tour Champions with a record 12 titles.
Friday, Langer took an important step towards achieving his goal of being in the mix come the weekend in a major championship. It’s a place he’s been so many times throughout his career, and if history is any indication, he’ll likely be exactly where he wants to on Sunday afternoon. At or near the top of the leaderboard.