Couples wins Senior British by 2
Ayrshire, Scotland (Sports Network) - Fred Couples birdied the final two holes on Sunday to win The Senior Open Championship at Turnberry.
Couples shot 3-under 67 to finish two clear of the field at 9-under-par 271. The victory was Couples' eighth on the Champions Tour and was his second major on the senior circuit.
"Obviously there was not as much wind, but still enough wind. And I wasn't looking for rain, I'm a horrific rain player. So I got blessed today," Couples said at the trophy presentation.
"Coming down the stretch, I hit a lot of really, really good shots and I feel great about that because when you miss at Turnberry, you're going to make bogey."
Gary Hallberg closed with a 4-under 66 to grab second place at minus-7. Carl Mason also had a 66 to share third with Dick Mast (67) and Barry Lane (69). That trio ended at 4-under 276.
Third-round leader and 2010 champion Bernhard Langer dropped five shots in five holes on the back nine to tumble from the lead. He struggled to a 5-over 75 to share sixth at minus-2 with John Cook (71), Mark Wiebe (67) and Peter Fowler (73).
Couples and Langer were battling for the lead for the first 12 holes, but things changed once they made the turn. The duo was put on the clock for being out of position, and that threw Langer into a funk.
Couples birdied the 11th from about eight feet out and made it two in a row with a 6-foot birdie effort on the 12th. The first birdie gave him a piece of the lead, but the second gave him a 3-stroke cushion.
That was because Langer struggled to a double-bogey on No. 12.
"I felt like the birdie on 12, playing with Bernhard who made double, that was a big swing, and I turn and look at the board and Hallberg was birdieing a couple holes, so there was no time to relax," Couples said afterwards.
Couples 3-putted the 13th for bogey, which cut his lead to one over Hallberg, who had birdied same hole.
Langer parred the 13th, but bogeyed the next three holes to drop from contention.
"Obviously, the back nine was a disaster. Just hit a couple of loose shots. Got some bad breaks," Langer said. "Ending up in pot bunkers and all of those things. We were on the clock, as well, which didn't help. We had to rush a lot of the shots. Didn't make it any easier."
Couples parred three straight from the 14th. After Hallberg 2-putted No. 17 for birdie to grab a share of the lead, Couples did the same to move one clear.
At the last, Couples found the rough off the tee, but hit his second to about 40 feet. He poured in his birdie try from there to seal the win in style.
"I hit beautiful shots in 16, 17 and 18. And the hole got in the way on 18, it was probably going three or feet by, so it's all good with me," Couples said on TV.
Early on, Langer dropped to minus-6 with a bogey at the second. Couples birdied the second, but gave that shot right back with a bogey on No. 3. The duo was tied at 6-under.
Langer birdied the sixth and seventh to jump to 8-under, where he was one clear of Couples, who had birdied the seventh. Both players faltered to bogeys on the eighth and made pars on the ninth.
Langer made the turn with a 1-stroke lead, but collapsed on the final nine holes. At the U.S. Senior Open, Langer lost a 4-shot lead en route to a share of second place.
NOTES: Couples, who earned $315,600, gets a spot in the field next year at the British Open at Muirfield with the win...Langer had won nine of the previous 12 times he was the leader heading into the final round on the Champions Tour...The Champions Tour is in Minnesota next week for the 3M Championship, where Jay Haas won last year.
07/29 15:00:43 ET