Wiebe outlasts Langer to win Senior British Open
Southport, England – Mark Wiebe parred the fifth playoff hole on Monday to defeat Bernhard Langer and capture his first major victory at the Senior British Open.
Langer, the 2010 champion, double bogeyed his final hole on Sunday to fall into a tie with Wiebe at 9-under-par 271, and the duo traded pars on two playoff holes Sunday evening before play was suspended for darkness.
They returned to Royal Birkdale Golf Club Monday morning and they each parred the third playoff hole when play resumed before splitting bogeys on the fourth, leading to Wiebe's deciding par on the fifth extra hole when Langer failed to get up and down for par.
"You know, it's always -- I think it's always better for both players had there been a birdie to win the playoff instead of a bogey, but right now, I don't really care. I'm glad it's over, and I'm honored," said Wiebe, who claimed his fourth career victory on the Champions Tour and his first since the 2011 Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn.
Corey Pavin fired a 5-under 65 during his final round on Sunday to jump into a share of third place with Peter Senior (66) and David Frost (70) at 6-under.
Peter Fowler (69) finished in sixth at 4-under and Sandy Lyle (70) captured seventh at 3-under 277.
When play resumed Monday at 3:00 a.m. ET, Langer and Wiebe returned to the 18th tee for the third time and Langer struck his second shot less than 20 feet from the pin, while Wiebe's rolled off the back of the green.
But neither could convert their lengthy birdie putts and 2-putted for par to move to the fourth extra hole.
This time each player found the same greenside bunker on their second shots and blasted out to about 12 feet past the hole.
After Langer's par attempt rolled just past the hole, Wiebe's potential winning putt stopped short and they were forced to return to the 18th tee for the fifth time.
Both found the left rough with their drives, but Wiebe was able to roll his second on to the front of the green as Langer's second almost found the same bunker as the fourth extra hole.
Langer then played a nice pitch that settled about 10 feet from the hole.
Wiebe, though, lagged his 55-foot putt within a foot and was able to kick his short effort in for the win when Langer's par effort missed left.
"I was surprised that Bernie missed his putt -- he's a great player. It just was my time," said Wiebe. "I'm speechless. Shocked, too. I just planned on Bernie making that, and I actually was thinking, what hole do we go to now, do we go back to 18 or do I start on a new hole. I just planned on him making the putt. It didn't go in."
Langer entered Sunday's final round with a three-stroke lead and started his round with four straight pars before rolling in a birdie at the fifth to move to 10-under.
Wiebe then started to put a little pressure on the leader with an outward 31 that included birdies at the second, sixth, seventh and ninth around a bogey at the fourth to pull within two strokes of Langer.
But Langer birdied the ninth to regain his three-stroke advantage and after the duo traded birdies at the 12th, Wiebe parred his final six holes around a pair of weather delays that lasted over two hours total to finish at 9-under.
Langer, meanwhile, would bogey the 14th to fall to 11-under and needing nothing worse than a bogey at the last to seal his 19th career Champions Tour title and third career major victory on the senior circuit, tripped to a double bogey to necessitate the playoff.
Langer's troubles at the 72nd hole of the tournament began when his second shot found its way into a greenside bunker.
He then failed to get out of the hazard with his first shot as it bounced back into the sand after hitting the top lip.
Langer was able to get his next shot safely onto the green for an opportunity for a clinching bogey, but he failed to convert his 7-foot attempt and he 2- putted for a double-bogey 6 to meet Wiebe at 9-under.
"It was really my tournament to win or lose coming down 18, and I made a major error by taking on the green," Langer said.
NOTES: It was the first time in the Senior British Open's 27-year history that it concluded on a Monday ... It was the 10th playoff in tournament history ... Wiebe had played 49 events since his last win ... He had missed the cut in his previous two appearances at this event ... It was the first Monday finish on the Champions Tour since the 2005 Bayer Advantage Classic.