Langer shoots 64, leads Senior Open by four

Langer shoots 64, leads Senior Open by four

Published Jul. 14, 2012 8:09 p.m. ET

LAKE ORION, Mich. — Bernhard Langer is playing so
well at the US Senior Open that even his competitors are asking for help.

Langer shot a 6-under par 64 on Saturday, the best round of the tournament, and
leads five golfers by four shots going into Sunday's final round at Indianwood
Golf and Country Club.

During Langer's post-round news conference, the microphone was taken by someone
who didn't have a media credential.

"Excuse me, but can you tell me how to get nine birdies out there?"
asked Corey Pavin, one of those golfers in the group closest to Langer.

Pavin actually knew the answer.

"The obvious answer is that he hit nine greens in regulation and
one-putted," Pavin said during his own news conference. "But that
shows you just how precise Bernhard is on the course. When he gets things
going, he's going to hit his irons close and he's going to make putts. There's
other guys out here who can do that, but not many."

The scary thing for the guys trying to catch Langer? He still isn't happy with
his play.

"I think I played better in the first two rounds than I did today, but I
finally got my putter going today," he said. "I still haven't gotten
everything going on the same day."

After a PGA Tour career that saw him win two Masters, Langer has won three
money titles in four full seasons on the Champions Tour and is in third place
this season.

"I think I'm one of the better players out here — I've won the money list
and I've won the Charles Schwab Cup — and I think the better players are going
to separate themselves from normal players in the majors, because the
conditions are tougher."

The German could have put together a tournament-record round, birdying nine
holes, but he double-bogeyed 13 and bogeyed 18 to miss Loren Roberts' mark by
two shots.

With only two par-5s on the course, Indianwood is not an easy course to make up
a lot of shots, and none of the players chasing Langer think he's going to make
things easy for them.

"It might take a 60 tomorrow," said Fred Couples, who is five back
after a third-round 65. "Bernhard isn't going to come back to us, so Corey
or someone is going to have to shoot an extraordinary round for any of us to
get a shot. At least I've inched myself a little closer."

Langer wasn't quite as confident, but acknowledged that he's a big favorite
going into Sunday.

"That's not a huge lead — four shots can disappear quickly," he said.
"My goal is to go out there and shoot under par. If I can get to two or
three under tomorrow, it's going to take a really low round to catch me."

Unless someone shoots Couples' predicted 60, or even the magic number of 59,
the odds are that Langer is going to take his third national championship of
his senior career — joining the 2010 US Senior and British Senior Opens.