sport

Langer plans Open charge

Bernhard Langer is relishing a week of links golf as he prepares to tee it up in the Senior Open Championship at Royal Porthcawl on Thursday.

The 56-year-old German plays almost exclusively on the US Champions Tour - where has posted top ten finishes in his last 10 events - but is delighted to be back by the British seaside.

\"The thing I enjoy the most is the firmness of the ground and how you can just nip the ball,\" he told the European Tour's official website. \"It makes a certain sound when you hit it as well, and you can create some spin.

\"It's interesting round the greens too - you have so many options. You can use a four iron, a seven iron or a nine iron, or even a lob wedge. You just need imagination to see the shot. Some courses we play on have six inches of rough, so there's no options. But here, you can almost use any club in the bag and that makes it fun.\"

Langer, who lost in a play-off to Mark Wiebe 12 months ago, is also pleased to be back in Wales, scene of his first European Tour victory at the 1980 Dunlop Masters in Chepstow.

\"It's great to be in Wales,\" he added. \"I fondly remember my first win all those years ago, and believe I did well here a year later.

"So Wales has been good to me. This is certainly a gem of a links course that can measure up to any of the iconic links venues, so that makes it even better and I can't wait to get started.\"

Langer gets his challenge under way on Thursday alongside American defending champion Wiebe and Spain's Miguel Angel Jiménez, the oldest winner in the history of The European Tour who makes his Senior Tour debut this week.

\"Miguel is one of the best over 50 players in the world and Mark Wiebe is defending here, so it's certainly a great draw,\" said Langer, the two-time Masters champion.

\"I was playing with Jiménez a couple of months ago when he first played on the Champions Tour, and he won and I finished second. I enjoyed my couple days with him. I'm sure we're going to have some fun going around here as well."

Langer last won the Senior Open Championship at Carnoustie in 2010.