Mark Wiebe has won his first Senior Open Championship after he beat Bernhard Langer following five play-off holes at Royal Birkdale yesterday.
The duo resumed their battle for the title yesterday morning after organisers called a halt to proceedings on Sunday night after Langer and Wiebe halved two play-off holes played in near darkness.
Germany’s Langer fired a bogey at his fifth attempt on the 18th as Wiebe got down in two to find par and claim victory.
Langer blew a two-stroke lead on the final hole to enter into a play-off with Wiebe, with the 55-year-old American finally succeeding in the sudden-death play-off in perfect conditions in Southport at 8am yesterday morning.
It was the first time in its 27-year history the tournament concluded on a Monday and Langer blinked first as he narrowly missed a putt for par from six feet.
Wiebe has never won a major title — his best result was a tie for 12th place in the PGA Championship in 1989 — and he was surprised to win this event in the manner he did.
“I’m a little tired, I’ll tell you that. I was surprised that Bernie missed his putt because he’s a great putter, he’s a great player. It just was my time,” Wiebe said. “I try to play the play-offs like I was playing the tournament. I just got a few extra holes in. Matchplay is different. I have never been in a play-off in a major championship either so I was a first-timer. I just tried to play the golf course as good as I could.”
Wiebe also admitted he had never played in near darkness before as the pair began the play-off in dramatically failing light last night.
He said: “I have never done that so that was unusual but I think we would have both liked to have played because of our schedule. Obviously it was really dark at that second hole and mother nature always wins.”
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