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Langer Regains Lead in Senior Open Championship


First-round leader Bernhard Langer carded a 4-under 66 to retake the top spot in the Senior Open Championship at Turnberry. The $2 million major began Thursday on the Alisa Course at the Scottish resort.

After opening with a 64, the 54-year-old German slipped to a 73 Friday, but rebounded nicely in the third round to reach 7-under 203, one stroke ahead of Fred Couples.

"I'm just happy to be in the hunt with 18 holes to play," said Langer, who won the title - on of his two major victories on the Champions Tour - two years ago at Carnoustie. "There's a lot of guys in with a chance, so I know I'll have to shoot one of the lower scores to win."

Couples got into the mix thanks to a sterling 6-under 64. The 52-year-old Seattle native shot a 72 Thursday, but has gradually gotten better with rounds of 68 and 64. On Saturday he had seven birdies and a bogey.

"It was a very, very good day," Couples said of his third round. "Once I got going, I didn't miss many shots. I hit my irons solid and when I hit them close, I made the putt."

Langer is looking forward to his pairing in the final group with Couples, who he beat in the 2010 U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee by three strokes. "It's always fun playing with Freddy. We've had some great matches over the years," Langer said at greenside. "He's a great player and a great champion. There's other players still in the hunt, too, but it should be good being last out with Freddy."

Two behind Langer is Australia's Peter Fowler (65), while three back are England's Barry Lane (66), John Cook (66) and 36-hole leader Gary Hallberg. After tying the course record Friday with a 63, the 54-year-old Hallberg went 10 strokes higher with a 73 to fall four strokes off the pace.

Jay Don Blake (69) is in solo seventh at 208, while another stroke back are Ian Woosnam (68), David Frost (70) and Dick Mast (70).

Tom Watson soared up the leaderboard to get to even-par 210 after a 66. The three-time Senior Open champion is tied for 11th with Carl Mason (67), Mark Brooks (69) and Tom Lehman (73).

For complete scoring, visit http://www.europeantour.com/seniortour/season=2012/tournamentid=2012860/leaderboard/index.html.