The 63-year-old made history at The 2019 Senior Open Presented by Rolex when he picked up his 11th Senior Major and he tees it up this week bidding to become the oldest Senior Major Champion of all-time.
“It would mean a lot [to win another Senior Major],” he said. “That’s why I practice and play and compete, to win tournaments. It’s the same on this Tour as on the younger Tour. The Majors mean more than the average tournaments, and the USGA does a phenomenal job with this tournament. The way they do everything is first class, and it’s a pleasure being here.
“I’m about 40 yards shorter than many guys out here now, which means I’m hitting four iron when they’re hitting nine iron, and that becomes tougher to compete, but it’s still possible.
“There’s certain courses where I have better chances than other courses. I just have to play close to flawless golf. I’ve got to hit fairways and lots of greens and got to have a really good short game to hopefully compete on some of the courses.”
Langer’s compatriot and good friend Alex Cejka has enjoyed an incredible start to his over-50s career, winning twice already, and the two-time Masters Champion has not been surprised by Cejka’s eye-catching start.
“We’ve been friends ever since he became a pro basically, and I’m about 13 years older than him,” he said. “His father fled from the Czech Republic many years ago, came to Frankfurt, and that’s where he started playing golf, I think.
“Alex is a great guy. He’s had a few injuries in his life, which held him back a little bit, motorcycle, cars, other stuff, but he’s got one of the best golf swings out here, and when he gets the putter going, you’d better watch out. He’s already proved that. He’s made an immediate impact. Just about every time he teed up, he had a chance to win, and he’s already won twice.”
Omaha Country Club has undergone changes since it last hosted the Championship in 2013 and Langer believes it will provide a real test of golf to the world’s best over-50s players this week.
“Well, I like the golf course, but it’s playing very long,” he said. “We’re playing it at 7,000 yards, par 70, so if you make it a par 72, you add 400 yards. That’s 7,400 yards for seniors. That’s a lot of golf course. And a lot of the greens are elevated, which means if you hit a nine iron in or a seven iron, you can stop the ball. If you come in with a two hybrid or a three wood, you’re not going to stop the ball. I think that explains it all.”
Joining Langer in Nebraska this week are fellow Senior Major Champions Paul Broadhurst and Roger Chapman, Sweden’s Joakim Haeggman and South African trio Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and James Kingston.
The action gets under way at 7:15am local time, with Langer playing alongside Els and Jerry Kelly at 2:19pm.