Bernhard Langer has taken more than his share of abuse lately.
There is still a lot of flak flying over his putting style. Some players on the over-50 circuit think he’s still anchoring that long putter of his.
Langer fired back that he’s a man of integrity and would never cheat.
Rules officials have watched constantly and given him the thumbs up. Add to the mix the fact that Langer is always on television and the camera close-ups confirm what the rules officials have declared — Bernie is legal.
With all that noise around him and feeling under the weather, Langer excelled in horrendous weather Thursday during the first round of the Senior Open Championship.
They’re at the Porthcawl Golf Club in Wales and the winds blew 30-35 miles per hour off the Bristol Channel and rains came in sideways for good measure.
The rain did let up for the afternoon wave but the winds remained unforgiving.
“We made it through, it was a very good day,” Langer said, his voice very hoarse.
Langer was the only man in the field who could break 70 on a day when the average score was 80. He shot a two-under par 69 that might have been as good as a 63 on a calm day.
Tom Watson, one of the greatest links golfers ever, called it one of the top 10 worst days for weather that he’s seen in his long and storied career.
Carl Mason of the UK and Mauricio Molina of Argentina were the only other players under par on the testy day.
Tom Lehman and Colin Montgomerie were in a group of nine players who managed to shoot 71 — even par.
The conditions didn’t play favorites. Three-time Open champion Sir Nick Faldo shot 79, a shot under the field average.
Bad news for the old boys is that more high winds and rain are on tap for Friday’s second round.
Good luck fellas!