Bernhard Langer at the 2016 Masters (Getty Images, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz)

Langer defies age at Masters

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There are two players ahead of Bernhard Langer on the 2016 Masters leaderboard after three rounds: Americans Jordan Spieth and Smiley Kaufman.

Spieth is 22, Kaufman is 24. Their combined age of 46 is still 12 behind 58-year-old Langer.

Heck, Spieth was born three months after Langer won his second Green Jacket in 1993, while Jason Day – Langer’s playing partner in the third round at Augusta National – was born two years after Langer won his first Masters in 1985.

“That was just so impressive to watch,” said world No. 1 Day, 28, after their round. Day shot 71 to Langer’s 70, to sit a shot behind the German in a tie for fifth. Langer is tied-third with Hideki Matsuyama.

“When you consider some of the positions he is playing in from compared to where I was, it was unbelievable. If I think back to 10, I had 120 yards to the pin and he was at least 60, maybe 80 yards behind me.

“He knows his strengths and weaknesses. I could tell how gritty he is and how much of a competitor he is. [Bernhard] is a true professional and I know he really wants to compete and try to win this thing tomorrow, but then so do I.”

Langer posted six birdies and four bogeys which sounds erratic, but only Langer’s drive on the 18th was really loose, which sliced into the woods and resulted in a closing dropped shot.

Langer should not have the length to contend on this 7,435-yard golf course, yet after Spieth dropped three shots over the last two holes, Langer sits only two shots off the defending champion’s 54-hole lead.

Other than that, Langer managed the golf course impeccably, picked his spots and usually hit them.

“For a 58‑year‑old, it’s fun to be in this position and play with the best in the world,” said Langer after his round.

“When I play really, really good, when I bring my ‘A’ game, I can still compete, even on a very long golf course like this.”

The oldest major winner do date was Julius Boros, who was 48 when he won the 1968 PGA Championship, while Jack Nicklaus was the oldest Masters champion, aged 46 in 1986.

Despite this, Langer has no plans to turn up for Sunday’s final round just to pick up a decent pension cheque.

“I believe I can [win],” he said. “Obviously it depends how the others do.

“If I play my best, I can shoot four or five‑under tomorrow I think, if the conditions are a little bit better, but so can Jordan Spieth or any of the others on the leaderboard. So I can only play my game and see how that holds up.”

Bernhard LangerJordan SpeithThe Masters
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