Langer Leads in His Homeland


Bernhard Langer has won tournaments in his homeland of Germany 10 times in the past. Friday he took a giant step toward the 11th, by shooting an 8-under-par 64 at Gut Lrchenhof, Cologne, to take a two-stroke lead into the third round of the Linde German Masters.
The 44-year-old Ryder Cup player who now lives in Florida delivered a feast of birdies for the enthusiastic galleries as he fired his lowest score at Gut Lrchenhof for a two-round total of 13-under 131 in a tournament he has already won three times.
Langer leads by two from a trio of players, Australian Stephen Leaney, Swedens Fredrik Jacobson and first-round leader Greg Owen of England. Leaney and Jacobson fed off each other, both shooting 66s for 133, while Owen added a 68 to his opening 65.
Meanwhile, American John Daly backed up an opening-round 71 with a Day 2 67 to move to 6-under for the tournament, seven shots back.
It was an irresistible display by Langer, who has the dual role this week of performer and co-promoter with his brother, Erwin. Despite the off-course distractions, the resilient German focused on his golf game and picked up eight birdies, five of them coming between the first and sixth holes.
Despite a stiff back which necessitated regular stretching exercises on the course, Langer made good progress through the field after starting the day two shots behind. He said, 'I hit a lot of greens and gave myself chances for birdies and the greens were very good. It was just a matter of reading them correctly and getting the right pace. I believe it's my lowest round here.
'My back was hurting a little bit, my lower right back. I was stretching several times on the course to make sure my posture was good but it didn't affect me to the point where I couldn't swing and couldn't play.
'The key is to hit the fairway because the rough is wet and long enough to hurt you when you hit in there.'
Click Here for Full-Field Scores from the Linde German Masters.