Langer ready to 'Grip It and Rip It'
The Champions Tour grabbed the public's imagination last week when Loren Roberts came out on top in an epic battle with Mark McNulty and Fred Funk to wrest the Senior Open Championship in Sunningdale on Sunday.
The fun keeps on coming and this week we head to Crooked Stick for the US Senior Open and William Hill have priced up the tournament, installing gritty German, Bernhard Langer, the 11/2 favourite.
Langer has been sensational this season and it is difficult to see him out of the frame. Crooked Stick measures 7,316 yards and should suit Langer's eye ideally. He hits it long and straight, leads the Money List in the US by a considerable margin and has already won on tour four times this season alone.
His ability to shape the ball both ways from the tee and his distance control with his medium to long irons should allow him to get plenty of good looks for birdies. A hot week with the putter and Langer could bring the course to its knees, slaying his rivals in the process.
It's also prudent to remember that Langer finished strongly at Sunningdale, carding rounds of 65 on Saturday and Sunday and only finishing one shot behind eventual winner, Loren Roberts.
Roberts is a 10/1 shot this week, but it's always difficult to win back-to-back on any major tour and it's possible that, even though this is a Major, it might be an anti-climax for Roberts following Sunday's herculean effort. He's undoubtedly one of the most prolific putters on tour, however the focus this week is on long-hitting and Langer looks stronger in that department.
Eduardo Romero has to be of interest at 25/1. The big-hitting Argentinean has the ability to overpower golf courses and even though he was a shade lacklustre with the flat stick at Sunningdale, he's worth an interest at that sort of price.
Greg Norman, priced at 14/1 with William Hill, has not played much golf recently, opting instead to focus his attentions on his many business enterprises, but he looked to be getting into the swing of things last week, contending on Sunday afternoon, before fading late. He's a joy to watch and has arguably the most conventional golfing action ever. He cannot be ruled out.
'Wild Thing' John Daly was lifted from golfing obscurity to superstardom when he captured his first Major title at Crooked Stick in '91. It's time for Bernhard Langer to 'grip it and rip it' and bag his first Major on the Champions Tour.