BERNHARD Langer made a statement of intent when he opened with a 6-under-par 65 to take a two-stroke lead over American Bob Tway in the British Senior Open at a sweltering Royal Porthcawl on Thursday.
Langer, who threw away a two-stroke lead on the final hole at Royal Birkdale last year and then was beaten for the title in a playoff, was out in a best-of-the-day 31.
He birdied the third, fourth, sixth and eighth holes, and went 5 under when he birdied the long 13th. He dropped a shot at the 16th but then hit back immediately with birdies at the two closing holes.
"Six under is very satisfying," Langer said. "I played smart, some good, some great."
"I kept it out of the bunkers and out of the hay, and gave myself some opportunities. And I'm pleased with a birdie-birdie finish."
The German is trying to add a second British Senior title to the one he won at Carnoustie in 2010.
Tway set the early target at 4-under 67, with birdies at the first, sixth, 12th and 13th, and no dropped shots.
"It was a pleasure to play a nice round of golf on a great golf course," Tway said. "I probably should have bogeyed a couple of holes coming in, but I got lucky."
Chris Williams of England was alone in third on a bogey-free 68 with birdies at Nos.2, 4 and 6, while Andrew Oldcorn of Scotland was a stroke behind in fourth. Spain's Pedro Linhart and Canadian Rick Gibson were tied for fifth on 70.
Scotland's Colin Montgomerie, bidding for his third successive seniors' major, was on 74 with just two birdies, and three dropped shots.
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