After his 13-shot wire-to-wire Senior Open win at Royal Porthcawl last week, calls for Bernhard Langer to be included in Europe’s Ryder Cup squad are beginning to get louder.
If Langer, 56, is picked by European captain Paul McGinley for the showdown at Gleneagles this September, the two-time Masters champion would become the oldest player to compete at a Ryder Cup.
At this year’s Masters - the only PGA Tour event Langer has competed - the 2004 Ryder Cup captain finished tied eighth. Only four of the nine US players currently on course to qualify automatically for Tom Watson’s side bettered that result, whilst none of those currently in the European team could better the German.
However, some people have pointed to the strength of the fields and quality of the courses in senior golf as reasons why Langer might not be such an obvious Ryder Cup pick. In both cases, they are considered markedly inferior to the regular men's tours.
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“It's hard because he's not playing against the regular guys week in and week out. He's playing great golf obviously, and what he's done this year and this month as well has been fantastic. I'd say probably, if they were to be involved in the Ryder Cup, if they were vice captains or something, then I'd be all for that, but I don't think they should be on the team.”
US Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson speaking to Sky News
“I'd certainly be saying to Paul that this guy is playing so well he might be worth a pick. The way he is hitting it just now, Gleneagles is a course that could be played by Bernhard Langer.”
Tony Jacklin on Sky Sports
“Bernhard's a great team man and I'd be thinking very seriously indeed if I was Paul McGinley because even if the young guys had been here they wouldn't have beaten his score.”
Bernhard Langer backs himself for the Ryder Cup
It’s not just his fellow seniors Tony Jacklin and Tom Watson who believe the German would be an asset to McGinley’s squad - Langer himself feels he’s ‘worthy’ of a pick.
“We've been talking about it for a number of years now because I've been playing some really good golf the last six or seven years,” Langer told Sky Sports.
“It's up to the captain. I certainly feel my golf is worthy of playing in the Ryder Cup.”