Bernhard Langer uncharacteristically made six bogeys during a third-round 73. (Martin/Getty Images)
European drought seems likely to stretch yet another year
It's been 62 years since a European player won the Senior PGA Championship, and it looks like it may soon be 63 after Ross Drummond and Bernhard Langer struggled on Saturday.
By Craig Dolch, Special to PGA.com
BEACHWOOD, Ohio -- It's been 62 years since a European player won the Senior PGA Championship, and it looks like it may soon be 63 after second-round leader Ross Drummond of Scotland and Germany's Bernhard Langer tumbled down the leaderboard in Saturday's third round at Canterbury Golf Club.
Drummond started the day with a two-shot lead, but that margin was gone after two holes when he bogeyed the first hole and Jeff Sluman birdied the second. Drummond, trying to win his first significant tournament in 25 years as a professional, predictably struggled to a 6-over 76 that dropped him into a 16th-place tie, five shots behind leader Michael Allen.
"I don't think the course was playing particularly difficult today. I really just lost it on the greens," Drummond said. "I just had too many three-putts early on, and that just kind of spilled over into my game. It was just some poor putting and then just a lack of confidence."
More surprisingly, Langer, who leads the Champions Tour in virtually every important statistic this year, uncharacteristically made six bogeys during a 73 that left him four back in 10th place. Langer had made only four bogeys in the first 36 holes.
"I struggled with the long game … the swing, the rhythm wasn't there," Langer said. "I was swinging too fast, I think, and just blocking a couple. I've got to be aggressive tomorrow and put up a low number and hopefully put some pressure on these guys by creeping up the leader board and posting a good score."
The last European to win the oldest senior major was Jock Hutchison of Scotland in 1947.
Coincidentally, no European player had won the PGA Championship for 78 years until Padraig Harrington of Ireland last year at Oakland Hills.
Drummond said earlier this week he believes it's tough for Europeans to win majors in the United States because the style of golf is so different than they’re used to playing.
"I think it's very difficult for Europeans to come over and compete in this arena because we don't play golf courses like this," he said. "I think the greens are a lot faster than we're used to. It's quite hard to get it up and down. We tend to play golf courses that the rough isn't quite as bad and the greens are a lot flatter."