The Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS: Langer Falls, McCarron Rises

Posted by: mike July 17th, 2017

By Bob Oliver

@arbyoliver

 

In a major production, which had the preview makings of a TV rerun, the Constellation Senior Players Championship turned out to be a nightmare for Hall of Famer Bernhard Langer. And what could have been a rerun delivered a riveting mystery ending.

In control of the Constellation Senior Players Championship at Caves Valley through three rounds, Langer’s game was on cruise control through the final round of his attempts at a four-peat in the event. Langer had won the last three Senior Players Championship on three different courses. Unfortunately, Cave’s Valley proved to be a tough test for a fourth straight win.

Langer opened with rounds of 65-67-66 for a 198 total and was in total control, but Sunday proved to be a back nine disaster. He never could get anything going, and a short missed putt early in the final nine and an uncharacteristic double bogey on 17 opened the door.

Enter Scott McCarron. Six shots behind at the start of the day, McCarron was a picture of final round perfection. McCarron reeled off birdies on the second, third, fourth and fifth holes, added two more on nine and 10, and was right behind Langer on throughout the back nine until the latter’s demise.Bernhard Langer

When the dust cleared McCarron’s 67-68-69-66—270 was 18-under-par and led to his fourth PGA Champions Tour victory. It was his first major championship.

“He (Langer) was in control, but when I heard the groans from the fans when I was playing 18 I knew he was in trouble back on 17,” said McCarron, who was told the leader had plummeted his tee shot on the par-3 into a watery grave. Suddenly, roles were reversed and he was in control over a player known for his consistency.

Given his record, McCarron has been thought of as a journeyman pro, but a major championship gives a lot of course cred.

He earned the championship with a six-under-par final round and with a little luck.

Langer merely ran out of gas with two holes to play. Throughout the final round Brandt Jobe battled Langer, but could never break through. The two finished a stroke behind McCarron at 17-under-par.

The obvious learning was that McCarron never gave up. That’s something that’s hard to do when one finds themselves way behind and the finish line approaching. It’s all too easy to press and make mistakes. But when combined with another learning, you can only control your own game, the opportunity door opened and McCarron waltzed through with flying colors.

As it has been said numerous times, these guys are good. Oh, some are better than others, but on any given day a player can put it all together, sparkle, and do what is required to win.

At the Constellation Senior Players Championship, Scott McCarron proved he’s no slouch and a worthy competitor. And that he is a major champion.

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Bob Oliver is a frequent contributor to the Golf Insider’s blog, a veteran Golf Writers of America member and former president of the International Network of Golf. Bob is Chief Columnist at www.golfbuckscounty.com