CARNOUSTIE, Scotland, July 22 (Reuters) - The remarkable Bernhard Langer continued to defy the passage of time on Sunday as the 60-year-old veteran plotted his way to a wind-defying 71 in the final round of the British Open.
Open combatants half his age would have been overjoyed to finish golf’s oldest major in the position the German found himself at the end of the championship at a one-under total of 283.
Asked by reporters how his body was bearing up after a difficult week on the fearsome 7,402-yard Carnoustie links layout, Langer replied: “It’s creaking. Time to put the feet up instead of putting the weight on them.
“Every day there’s something. You just feel it. I’m not 20 or 30.”
The sun was out on the east coast of Scotland on Sunday but the players were buffeted by strong winds gusting up to 25mph.
“It was tough today. The wind was blowing pretty good. On 17 I went with driver, driver, which was a new experience,” said Langer, referring to the par-four penultimate hole that measures 460 yards.
“The first three days, it wasn’t the most wind. There were times when it was 10-12mph, nothing like today.”
Langer, who turns 61 next month, is his country’s greatest ever golfer having accumulated 42 European Tour victories, including major triumphs at the U.S. Masters in 1985 and 1993.
The victories have kept on coming since he joined the U.S. Senior Tour, with 37 arriving in the over-50s category.
Langer, however, fears this week could turn out to be his swansong appearance at the third major of the season.
“As I holed my last putt I was thinking this could be my last Open,” he said. “You just don’t know at my age.
“The only way for me to get here is through the Senior Open because I’m not going to go through the qualifying stuff that I tried a few times when I was younger. It could be my last one unless I win the Senior Open (at St Andrews next week).” (Editing by Christian Radnedge)