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Wiebe - Finally - Beats Langer to Win Senior British Open
After playing 20 holes on a storm-delayed final round Sunday and having to leave Royal Birkdale because it was too dark, Mark Wiebe and Bernhard Langer returned to the course at 8:00 a.m. Monday morning to resume their battle in the Senior British Open.
It took three more playoff holes - all on the par-4 18th, but the 55-year-old Wiebe finally beat the German Hall of Fame member with a par. It was the first major victory for the Oregon native, a two-time PGA Tour winner who now has four titles on the over-50 circuit.
"I'm a little tired, I'll tell you that," Wiebe told reporters. "I try to play the playoffs like I was playing the tournament. I just got a few extra holes in . . . I have never been in a playoff in a major championship either so I was a first-timer. I just tried to play the golf course as good as I could."
On the last hole, Wiebe made an outstanding approach shot to set up a two-putt par, and Langer couldn't get up-and-down to match him.
Langer was still kicking himself for failing to bogey the last hole Sunday. Starting play on the 72nd with a two-stroke lead, the 2010 Senior British Open champion hit his approach on 18 into a greenside bunker and needed two strokes to get out. He then missed an eight-foot putt for the winning bogey, setting up the sudden-death playoff with Wiebe.
"Obviously not what I wanted. But the major mistake was again yesterday, the 72nd hole," a disappointed by classy Langer said Monday. "In the playoff anybody can win. It comes down to one good shot or one bad shot. And that's what happened. Mark is a very deserving champion."
It was the first time the Senior British Open had a Monday finish. The two players tried to complete the tournament Sunday, but it was too dark by the time they finished the first two extra holes.
"I have never done that so that was unusual but I think we would have both liked to have played because of our schedule," Wiebe said. "Obviously it was really dark at that second hole and Mother Nature always wins. I just figured that this is par for the course and we will go at it again at eight and here we are."