Langer takes 2-shot lead at Senior Players

Jun 11, 2015 - 10:14 PM Belmont, MA ( - Bernhard Langer started his title defense off well with a 6-under 65 in Thursday's first round and he holds a 2-shot lead at the Senior Players Championship.

Langer, who won five times on the Champions Tour last season, is seeking his fifth major victory on the senior circuit and second straight Senior Players title. The German has won 23 times on tour.

"Everybody wants to win majors and I'm no different, so those are the tournaments we prepare for especially and try to do well, but it's not easy," Langer said. "My game was pretty decent obviously. Tried to keep it in the fairway as much as possible because whenever you come out of the rough, you don't know if you're going to get a flyer or a dead ball, as I call it, and it's just difficult to control the distances. The wind made it pretty tricky."

There are plenty of big-name players right behind Langer. Rocco Mediate, Lee Janzen and Guy Boros are in second place following matching 4-under 67s at Belmont Country Club.

U.S. Senior Open champion Colin Montgomerie carded a 3-under 68 and he is tied for fifth with Gene Sauers.

Langer had an up and down front nine before exploding late in his round to take the outright lead.

After trading a birdie on one for a bogey on two, Langer rolled in two unanswered birdies at four and six. The 57-year-old made the turn by exchanging a bogey on eight for a birdie on nine.

At minus-2 around the turn, Langer rolled in four consecutive pars from 10 before making his run.

Langer caught fire over his final five holes, making four birdies during that stretch, including an up and down at the par-5 17th and a 9-footer for birdie at the last after finding the rough off the tee. His final two birdies broke Langer free from a tie for first and into the outright lead.

"Had a really good yardage for a pitching wedge, but again, it was nestling down in some juicy grass so I didn't think it would jump on me," Langer said about his second shot at the par-4 18th. "So I was worried it might not come out good enough to reach the green so I swung pretty hard at it and it came out pretty nice, hit the front of the green, rolled about three yards and ended up probably three yards below the cup, about nine feet and a fairly simple putt."

Mediate started his day well with three birdies over his first four holes to go along with a bogey on three. That was it for Mediate on the front nine as he rolled in seven straight pars from five. Birdies on 12 and 18 helped Mediate finish strong.

Janzen mixed in seven birdies and three bogeys during his round, while Boros went bogey-free with four birdies to grab a share of second.

NOTES: Langer has not won yet this season, but does have four top-10 finishes, including at the two previous major championships ... Langer is a two-time Masters winner ... Including a win at the Senior PGA this season, Montgomerie now has three major titles in the last two years ... Mark O'Meara withdrew during his first round.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!