Germany’s Bernhard Langer continued his dominance of over-50s golf by winning The Senior Open for a record fourth time.
Langer set a new benchmark for Senior Major Championship victories, with ten, when he last won The Senior Open in 2017 at Royal Porthcawl, and with this year’s win at Royal Lytham & St Annes he became the oldest Senior Open champion as he collected his 11th Senior Major and his 41st professional title since turning 50 years of age.
Despite heavy rainfall, which suspended play for over five and a half hours on the final day and then returned for the final nine holes of the championship, Langer put on a masterclass as he took control of the tournament with back-to-back birdies on the inward nine, ultimately carding a four under par 66 to turn a three shot deficit into a two shot victory from 2016 Champion Paul Broadhurst.
“It’s always special to walk down 18 in a Major, but especially over here,” admitted Langer, “It feels very special, whether it’s The Open or The Senior Open, to walk down 18 is always a wonderful feeling. Now having won 11 Senior Majors, it means a great deal. Nobody has won more than nine if I’m correct, not even the great Jack Nicklaus or Gary Player or Tom Watson who retired from this championship today.”
The final round of The Senior Open will be remembered as Tom Watson’s farewell to competitive links golf. The five-time Champion Golfer of the Year and three-time Senior Open winner announced after his third round on Saturday that he would be bowing out at the conclusion of his 18th Senior Open appearance.
The American never missed a cut in The Senior Open and remains one of only three men, along with Gary Player and Bob Charles, to win both The Open and The Senior Open. The Kansas native bows out being considered by many to be the greatest links golfer of all time.
“The crowds on 18 were very warm and appreciative,” Watson said. “The crowd that ended at the ninth hole, which was the farthest point on the golf course, that went all the way out there to watch my final hole; that was very, very special. Life is full of passages, and I’ve passed through my career here, starting in 1975 to here in 2019. It’s amazing.”
Of the Irish golfers, Darren Clarke finished in 10th place on 280, 6 shots off the winner, following his fourth round score of 71. Mark McNulty was two shots further back on 282, having shot rounds of 73, 67, 73 and 69. Former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley was 13 shots behind the winner as the Dubliner ended with a 73 on Sunday.
Sunningdale Golf Club near London will host The Senior Open, Europe’s only Senior Major next year.