Vic­tor re­calls his de­but for Proteas

Red-hot Ger­man vet­eran Langer rolls back years

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - GRANT WIN­TER

SOME of the very best golf here yes­ter­day was played by a 54-year-old man with a swing that is so ef­fi­cient it works like a well-oiled ma­chine.

Put it an­other way, Bernhard Langer – owner of 90 wins around the world in a 37-year pro ca­reer – is on the warpath again, as fiercely com­pet­i­tive as ever.

In the sec­ond round of the 54- hole Nedbank Se­nior Chal­lenge, be­ing played this year by eight of the world’s best over50s, he carded a fou­run­der-par 68 and leads on seven-un­der-par 137, the same score that Graeme Mc­dow­ell is up front with in the Nedbank Golf Chal­lenge.

And while the se­niors do play off tees slightly for­ward of the back mark­ers used in the main event, it’s the same greens, same bunkers, same nasty haz­ards, same wicked pin place­ments and same wind for ev­ery­one.

“I hit some re­ally good shots and for the most part putted well,” said Langer who birdied three of the first four holes.

He did, as he put it (and here’s a man who de­mands per­fec­tion), make a “ter­ri­ble” bo­gey at the eighth where he “chun­ked” a six-iron ap­proach, and a “ter­ri­ble” three-putt at the 11th which led to an­other dropped shot. But for the rest, Langer – a two-time win­ner of the Mil­lion Dol­lar Chal­lenge, was im­pres­sive Ger­man pre­ci­sion.

Four former world No 1s – Langer, Nick Price, Tom Lehman and Ian Woos­nam – are in the se­nior line-up and “Woosie”, Langer’s play­ing part­ner yes­ter­day, is ly­ing sec­ond on 138, just one be­hind his old team-mate in a bunch of Ry­der Cups.

“I need to play ag­gres­sively to­mor­row be­cause Woosie’s play­ing well and fin­ished strongly to­day. I’ve known him for 35 years and we’re both as com­pet­i­tive as ever,” said Langer.

Amer­i­can Mark Cal­cavec­chia, still a great ball-striker and who yes­ter­day ea­gled the par-5 ninth with its is­land green, is ly­ing third on 140 af­ter a 69, and three off the pace.

Price is on 142, Lehman on 143, and David Frost – like Price a three-time win­ner of the Nedbank Golf Chal­lenge – on level-par 144.

De­fend­ing cham­pion Jeff Sluman is on 146 and Mark O’meara – who has fallen in love with South Africa – on 148.

Bernhard Langer… su­per se­nior

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