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Langer & Wiebe to Settle Senior British Open Monday Morning
On a day of weather-caused fits and starts, the outcome of the Senior British Open at Royal Birkdale wasn't settled on Sunday. Bernhard Langer could have secured his second Senior British Open title in regulation, but the German Hall of Fame member uncharacteristically made a mess of the 72nd hole, carding a double-bogey on the par-4 to drop into a tie with Mark Wiebe and force a sudden-death playoff.
Langer's gaffe on the par-4 18th came when he landed in a pot bunker right of the green with his approach. His first sand shot smashed against the sod wall and plopped back into the sand. From there, he splashed out successfully, but the 55-year-old couldn't make the eight-foot putt that would have given him a bogey, a 1-under 69, and a one-stroke victory over Wiebe in the Champions Tour's fifth and final major of the year.
Langer, who began Sunday with a three-stroke lead, closed with a 70, while Wiebe had a 66 that included five birdies and a bogey. The two ended up tied at 9-under 271.
By this time the skies at Royal Birkdale in Merseyside, England, were getting dark. Earlier on Sunday, two extended rain delays caused the field to head to the clubhouse, forcing the lengthy final round.
In increasing darkness, Wiebe and Langer played the 18th two more times - with both recording pars - before they couldn't play anymore. The two will return to Royal Birkdale Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. to determine the champion.
"It's been a rollercoaster day," Langer said at greenside. "All I had to do was get a bogey (on the last). Things happen in the game of golf . . . still pleased with the two pars in the playoff."
Langer, who was sailing along at 3-under par through 13 holes before a bogey on the par-3 14th and his double at the end, will be seeking his third major on the over-50 circuit. The 18-time Champions Tour winner won the U.S. Senior Open and Senior British Open, both in 2010.
Sharing third at 274 were Corey Pavin, who shot the low final round - a 5-under 65, Australia's Peter Senior (66) and South Africa's David Frost (70). Aussie Peter Fowler (69) ended up in solo sixth at 276, while another stroke back was Scotland's Sandy Lyle (70).
Tied for eighth at 278 were Americans Tom Pernice Jr. (66) and Jeff Hart (67), with first-round leader Gene Sauers (72) in solo 10th at 279.
Defending champion Fred Couples closed with a 71 to end up tied for 21st at 5-over 285.
For all the scores, visit http://www.europeantour.com/seniortour/season=2013/tournamentid=2013858/leaderboard/index.html.