BELMONT, Mass. — Jesper Parnevik took one look at the tree-lined, hilly Belmont Country Club this week and immediately found a favorite.
“This is very much a Bernhard Langer-type of golf course,” Parnevik said he remembered thinking.
Langer has proved him right, posting a second consecutive 6-under 65 Friday in what he called a “stressless” bogey-free round that gave him a four-shot lead halfway through the Senior Players Championship.
“Somebody said, ‘That’s pretty boring stuff: 65, 65,'” Langer said after hitting all but one green in regulation. “I don’t think it is. I’d like to do it every day.”
Russ Cochran’s slump-busting 65 left him alone in second, while Steve Pate set a course-record with a bogey-free 63. That put him in a three-way tie for third and six shots back with the weary Lee Janzen and Parnevik, the Champions Tour newcomer who shot 66.
All have plenty to do to catch Langer on the old-school Donald Ross layout hosting this tournament for the first time. Langer took command by sinking a 40-foot putt on 16 for his sixth birdie. His lone hiccup was a three-putt par from just off the 17th green.
“That German engineering,” Parnevik said of Langer. “He never breaks down. He’s tough to beat at a place like this. He’s so systematic.”
Langer is without a victory this year in which he’s been slowed by injuries. But this week he’s looked much like his 2014 self that won this event and four others.
The 57-year-old Langer is nearing a 24th Champions Tour title. He’d also be the first repeat winner of the Senior Players since Arnold Palmer in 1984-85.
Thumbnail photo via Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports Images
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