Fred Couples wins The Senior Open Championship

Fred Couples of the USA closed with two birdies to win The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex by two shots from his countryman Gary Hallberg.

Fred Couples wins Senior Open Championship (Getty Images)

Fred Couples of the USA closed with two birdies to win The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex by two shots from his countryman Gary Hallberg.

At the start of Sunday's play Couples was one behind third round leader Bernhard Langer. There was little to separate the pair through the front nine, but the decisive moments came on the 11th and 12th holes.

Couples birdied the former to tie Langer at the top then, on the 12th, the German found a bunker and that led to a double bogey six, while Couples scored a birdie to move three shots clear.

Couples dropped a shot at the next hole to fall back to seven-under-par and that number was matched by Gary Hallberg who birdied the 17th, en-route to setting a clubhouse total of 273.

So, Couples came to the last two holes in a tie for the lead. Like Hallberg, he managed a birdie on the penultimate hole. He then sealed the victory with a superb three on the last.

"It was a fun day," said the 1992 Masters Champion. "Being paired with Bernhard, you've got to play great and for a long time there we were neck and neck... That was a big birdie on the 17th, to make the last a little easier."

Langer, who eventually finished in a tie for sixth was disappointed with a final round of 75.

"Obviously the back nine was a disaster," he said. "I hit a couple of loose shots and got some bad breaks. But Fred played very well and he finished in style with birdie, birdie."

Hallberg, who fired a course record equalling 63 on Friday, was delighted with his performance.

"I was very pleased with how I played," he said. "I didn't think of setting a target, I wanted to stay in the present and I think I did a good job of that."

English duo Carl Mason and Barry Lane enjoyed an excellent week to finish in a tie for third with Dick Mast of the USA.

The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex Turnberry, Ayrshire, Scotland 26-29 Jul, purse €1,629,543, par 70

1   Fred Couples (USA)   72   68   64   67   271   €256,059 2   Gary Hallberg (USA)   71   63   73   66   273   €170,787 T3   Barry Lane (Eng)      67   74   66   69   276   €79,360 T3   Carl Mason (Eng)      69   74   67   66   276   €79,360 T3   Dick Mast (USA)      66   73   70   67   276   €79,360 T6   John Cook (USA)      69   72   66   71   278   €43,167 T6   Peter Fowler (Aus)   68   72   65   73   278   €43,167 T6   Bernhard Langer (Ger)   64   73   66   75   278   €43,167 T6   Mark Wiebe (USA)   70   71   70   67   278   €43,167

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage Where next? PGA Tour - Scott Piercy wins Canadian Open European Tour - Bernd Wiesberger wins Lyoness Open

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?