Langer, whose two major victories before joining the 50-and-over circuit came in the Masters in1985 and 1993, could surpass Nicklaus at this week’s Senior PGA Championship or at next month’s U.S. Senior Open at Salem Country Club in Peabody, Mass.
Langer, the defending champion, entered the final round two strokes behind 54-hole leader and 2009 U.S. Senior Open champion Fred Funk, but his sizzling performance left little drama. He finished at 20-under 268 to best runners-up Scott McCarron and Scott Parel. Funk, who triple-bogeyed the par-4 12th hole to fall out of contention, settled for a share of fourth at 14-under 274.
"When I made birdie and Fred made triple bogey [on No. 12], that was a big swing in my favor,” said Langer. “At that point, I jumped ahead and then I never relented.”
Hat Trick for Simson
Two-time U.S. Senior Amateur champion Paul Simson continued his domination of the North Carolina Senior Amateur. Simson, of Raleigh, N.C., claimed his third consecutive championship by going wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, stroke-play competition that concluded May 18 at Salisbury Country Club. Simson carded rounds of 64-72-71 on the 6,478-yard, par-71 layout.
"I really do not know what the secret is," said the 66-year-old Simson, who has claimed nine of the last 11 North Carolina Senior Amateurs since becoming eligible at age 55. "I do work pretty hard at getting the ball in the hole, trying to at least play smart. I played some conservative shots this week and I think it worked out for me.”
David Shefter is a senior writer for the USGA. Email him at email@example.com.