Bernard Langer is currently very busy. Last weekend, he finished fifth at the US Grand Open in Nebraska, the fourth of five majors for pro golfers over the age of 50. With one exception, the German has run a championship somewhere every week since the end of May. And the season isn’t over yet. Starting on July 22, the 63-year-old wants to defend his senior British Open title in England.
In between, Langer could have made a detour to the southeast coast of the British Isles, but with a sad heart decided not to take part in “The Open”, as Europe’s only major professional tournament is called only for a brief period. As the current current champion, he was entitled to start. Appointments and travel pressures are too great for him in times of pandemic. The Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich is the club that Langer has many memories of.
There are now four Germans playing in the Claret Gog from Thursday to Sunday (live daily on Sky), the famous winner’s cup of the oldest golf tournament in the world: Martin Kaymer, Marcel Sim, Matthias Schmid and Marcel Schneider. Kaymer slipped onto the field as a successor, playing in 2011 the last event at the historic venue where the British Open was first held in England in 1894. Kaymer finished twelfth place ten years ago, but is not a favorite this time around.
And that doesn’t mean much, hardly anyone was expecting the recent winners of Royal St. George’s. Darren Clarke’s career was on the ground in 2011 when the Northern Irishman came out of nowhere to his big win. And in 2003, the American Ben Curtis, who was 396th in the world, won. Never seen one in one of the top four tournaments.
The fourth game board features one of the largest sand bunkers in golf
As with all British Open courses, tradition also plays a major role at Royal St. Dune course and landscape golf courses have little in common in the United States. Instead, it’s a wild landscape with huge, rugged sand dunes that characterize the design of the Royal Golf Club.
In the fourth schedule of the Classic Links Tournament is the so-called Himalayan Refuge, one of the biggest and deepest sand hazards in the tournament tournament around the world. And what is meant by tall grass, Tiger Woods found out in 1993 when his ball vanished, never to be seen again, in a thicket of stems swaying in the wind.
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“You have more variety in golf on courses like this. It’s the ever-changing winds, the weather conditions, the ever-changing conditions of the golf course,” Jon Ram said in a pre-tournament press conference.
Bernard Langer played a total of five times at Royal St. George, once in the second and twice in the third he came close to winning. In 1985 he gave up victory as the new Masters champion by a poor final round and is still grumpy to this day: “This was one of the biggest disappointments I’ve had in golf,” he recently told English golf magazine The National Golfer Club.
The “open” professional was not able to win for much longer. On the other hand, he’s won the Big Four – perhaps that’s why he’s focusing on the more realistic possibility of winning another big title next week.