• Senior Open

Langer continues Senior Open domination

ESPN staff
July 26, 2014
Bernhard Langer has mastered the devilish slopes of Royal Porthcawl this week © Getty Images

Bernhard Langer closed in on a second Senior Open in his career as he opened up an eight-shot lead after the third round at Royal Porthcawl.

The German has dominated the event from the off on Thursday and despite not hitting top form on Saturday, his lead was rarely under threat. A possible charge from Colin Montgomerie, who was 3-under on the front nine, fell apart on the back nine as the Scot dropped four shots.

Langer, who won the previous senior major in the form of the Players Championship last month, will add to the Senior Open title he won at Carnoustie in 2010 barring a monumental collapse on Sunday. A birdie at the last, having hit a superb sand wedge pin-high at the par-5, rounded off a 3-under 68.

""I hit some good drives," said Langer to Sky Sports. "The one at 18, I still can't believe how far that went. But that's how it is right now, it's very bouncy and firm and I was very fortunate not to end up in a bunker there on 18.

"I think at one stage Monty got to within seven but it was always about that mark. That was always my goal, not to relinquish any shots to the rest of the field. I only increased [the lead] by one but it's better than the other way around."

Despite the gap - which matches the largest 54-hole lead in senior major history - Langer is determined to see out the victory in style. He lost in a playoff to Mark Wiebe in last year's event at Royal Birkdale, when failing to escape a bunker at the last hole of regulation play in fading light cost him a bogey and the tournament.

"I think we can expect a lot of wind tomorrow and I'm still going to have to hit a lot of good golf shots and makes some putts and stay out of trouble," he added.

"It's the only major in senior European golf and it's a beautiful trophy, it would be very exciting to win a second one."

As Montgomerie faded, it fell to Canada's Rick Gibson (66, 6-under for the tournament) and the American duo of Bob Tway (68, 5-under) and Scott Dunlap (65, 4-under) to lead the chase.

Tom Watson followed up his fine showing at last week's Open Championship with a third-round 69 to move into a share of fourth with Dunlap and England's Chris Williams on 4-under for the tournament.

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