That year marked Langer’s first appearance at the U.S. Senior Open, and the two-time Masters Tournament winner finished in a share of sixth place.
He went on to win the tournament in 2010 – his second Senior Major victory after The Senior Open Presented by Rolex – and has added eight further Senior Open Championships to his impressive CV.
“Any U.S Open event has an extremely difficult set up,” said Langer. “The fairways are generally very narrow and there’s a lot of rough. On top of that you have extremely undulating greens; that’s going to be the key, to try and keep the ball below the hole so you have up-hill putts, not down-hill ones that aren’t going to be easy.
“If you don’t hit the fairway, you don’t see many guys reaching the green out of this rough. It’s a real test from the very first shot to the very last one.
“It’s a test with the driver, a test with the irons and definitely the short game, too. The rough around the greens is extremely difficult and putting on these greens is very hard.
“The greens are as severe as they get. Brutal is a good word for it. It’s not easy to find pin positions, as large as some of these greens are, because of the slope on them.”
Despite turning 60 at the end of 2017, Langer is showing no signs of slowing down having won once and finished second three times on the PGA TOUR Champions circuit in 2018. With 37 victories in the United States, Langer is just eight behind Hale Irwin’s record of 45.
“It’s amazing to win 45 tournaments in ten or 12 years,” said Langer. “It’s very difficult to do that on any Tour, and I’ve been very blessed to have won 37.
“Can I get to 45? I think I can, but I have to do it soon. I can’t wait until I’m 65, expecting to win another eight tournaments. I won seven last year and had a win and three seconds already this year – so it is possible.
“But it doesn’t get any easier. There’s new, young guys coming out, 50 year olds that hit the ball further than I do.
“I’m just trying to play the best golf I can. I know if I play well, I might have a chance to win.”