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Weekly update: 3M Championship is here |

Weekly update: 3M Championship is here

LANGER WINS THIRD SENIOR OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP, 10TH SENIOR MAJOR

Bernhard Langer captured his record-extending 10th major on PGA TOUR Champions, winning his third Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex at Royal Porthcawl in Wales. Langer finished at 4-under, three shots better than runner-up Corey Pavin, who was the only other player to finish the championship under-par.


Langer was the leader or co-leader after all four rounds, but his week was not without challenges. He hit his first tee shot on Thursday into a gorse bush and was forced to take an unplayable lie. He was fighting laryngitis early in the week. He, along with the 143 other players, battled through wind and rain that produced a second-round scoring average of 78.515, the second-highest in championship history. Even so, Langer led by at least two throughout the final round, and a birdie on the 18th hole punctuated his victory at Royal Porthcawl, where he also won The Senior Open Championship in 2014.

Langer has won five of the last 10 majors on PGA TOUR Champions, including three this season. Jack Nicklaus is the only other player to win three majors in a season, as he won three of the four majors in 1991. With the win, Langer earned an invitation to play in the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie, site of his first Senior Open Championship win in 2010.

Media Coverage:

Bernhard Langer wins third Senior British Open title (Associated Press, USA TODAY)
Bernhard Langer cruises to Senior British Open title, his 10th career senior major (Ryan Herrington, Golf Digest)
Bernhard Langer defies illness to make history with 10th senior major title (James Corrigan, The Telegraph)
• Quick Links: Final Results | Photo Gallery | Video Recap

LANGER CONTINUES TO CHASE IRWIN

With his 33rd career win on PGA TOUR Champions last week, Bernhard Langer continued his quest to match Hale Irwin atop the Tour’s all-time wins list. In his first 200 starts on PGA TOUR Champions, Irwin won 37 tournaments and six majors. By comparison, Langer has claimed 33 titles and 10 majors in 200 starts. Irwin’s 45th and last victory came at the 2007 Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai in his 273rd start at the age of 61, and his winning percentage was 16.48%.

For Langer, who turns 59 this month, to match Irwin’s win total and pace, he would need to win 12 times in his next 73 starts, a winning percentage of 16.44%. Through this point in his career, Langer has won 16.50% of the time he’s competed.

PAVIN LEADS AMERICAN CONTINGENT IN TOP-THREE

Corey Pavin trailed by four at the start of the final round in Wales, and he cut his deficit in half by the fifth hole. He was unable to draw any nearer, and he settled for a final-round 71 and a runner-up finish at 1-under-par. This was Pavin’s fourth top-three finish in six starts at The Senior Open Championship. He was runner-up to Langer in 2010 and 2017, and he finished T3 in 2011 and 2013. Overall, this was his 10th top-10 in a PGA TOUR Champions major.

Two other Americans rallied for top-three finishes on the weekend. After being T29 at 8-over through 36 holes, Fred Couples closed with rounds of 66-68, and his 8-under-par weekend was best in the field. He finished at even-par and tied for third, his third top-five finish in five starts at The Senior Open (T5, 2015; win, 2012). Like Couples, Billy Andrade posted one of four rounds of 68 on Sunday and joined the group tied for third at even-par. It was his second T3 finish in a major this season (KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship).

WHAT’S NEXT: 3M CHAMPIONSHIP

PGA TOUR Champions returns stateside this week for the 25th-annual 3M Championship at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota. In 2016, Joe Durant made a 10-foot eagle putt to defeat Miguel Angel Jimenez on the first playoff hole. Durant will return to defend his title, and the field of challengers includes two-time champions Kenny Perry (2014, 2015) and Bernhard Langer (2009, 2012), as well as rookies Steve Stricker, Jerry Kelly, David Toms and Steve Flesch.

Media Coverage:

Durant set for 3M Championship defense (Bob McClellan, PGATOUR.COM)
Since he turned 50, Steve Stricker’s golf game as good as ever (Brian Stensaas, Minnesota Star Tribune)
Kenny Perry winning again in his returns to golf at 56 (Brian Stensaas, Minnesota Star Tribune)
• Quick Links: Tee Times | Past Results

AT 3M, EYES ON NOS. 5 AND 72 IN SCHWAB CUP STANDINGS

With his win in Wales, Bernhard Langer built nearly a $1 million lead over Scott McCarron in the Charles Schwab Cup standings. The top-eight positions in the standings went unchanged, and Tom Lehman’s move from No. 10 to No. 9 was the only shake-up after The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex. Despite Langer’s large lead, the ultimate goal is to be in the top-five entering the season finale, as any top-five player that wins the Charles Schwab Cup Championship would win the Charles Schwab Cup.

With eight events left in the regular season, players are also vying for a spot in the second-annual Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs. Last week, Miguel Angel Martin finished T6 at The Senior Open Championship and improved from No. 90 to No. 72 in the Schwab Cup standings with $89,235. However, his grasp on the final Playoff spot is slim, as Mark Calcavecchia is No. 73 and trails Martin by less than $2,000. Calcavecchia will have a chance to overtake Martin this weekend at the 3M Championship, as Martin is not in the field.

Click here for full updated standings

Related: A good week at 3M Championship in Blaine can make difference in standings (Brian Stensaas, Minnesota Star Tribune)

NUMBERS

5 – The number of senior major victories Bernhard Langer has at the age of 58 or older. Since PGA TOUR Champions was founded in 1980, only three other players have won an official senior major at age 58 or older: Tom Watson, Hale Irwin and John Jacobs.

8 – Out of 16 tournaments this year, eight have been won by a player age 56 or older (Bernhard Langer, 4; Fred Couples, 2; Kenny Perry; and Tom Lehman). Coming into this season, players age 56 or older won just 15 percent of PGA TOUR Champions events.

QUOTE TO NOTE

“I know in my heart that the last 10 years, I’ve played some of the best golf of my whole life, guaranteed. The performance I had here a few years ago was as good as anything I’ve probably ever done anywhere. … I’m a strong believer that you can get better. I believe my technique at times was a lot better in the 50s than it was in the 20s or 30s. My understanding of the golf swing and what I can do, what I can’t do, is a lot better. The shots I have now, I probably didn’t have years ago, and just experience. All of that plays a big part.” – Bernhard Langer, on continuing to win at this stage of his career.

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