ST. LOUIS — Bernhard Langer birdied 76 yards for eagle on the opening hole and shot his second 6-under 65 this year to share the lead with Padraig Harrington in the Ascension Charity Classic.
Langer turned 65 two weeks ago. Earlier in the year, he shot a 64 in the Chubb Classic.
Harrington, a three-time major champion and recent Ryder Cup captain for Europe, played bogey-free at Norwood Hills.
Ernie Els, Jose Maria Olazabal and Steven Alker were in the 66.
Harrington has two wins and four runner-up finishes on the PGA Tour Championship in his first full year on the 50-and-over circuit. He’s trying to get close to Alker at the Charles Schwab Cup, though Alker isn’t having too many bad weeks.
Langer has won the Schwab Cup a record six times, and even at his age, the two-time Masters champion is not slowing down. He scored his 43rd career win at the Chubb Classic earlier in the year, two shy of the record held by Hale Irwin.
In a city where Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals is trying to reach 700 home runs, Langer is looking to approach a milestone he thinks about when asked.
“It’s exciting to be in that position to have the opportunity to catch Hale Irwin. It’s not going to be easy,” Langer said. “I didn’t think it was easy 10 years ago and I didn’t think it was easy five years ago. And it’s still not easy. But to win 43 was great and hopefully there are a couple more to go. Tanks.”
Harrington is still getting used to this environment. He’s come from behind in all three majors, and feels like he’s in good shape when it comes to rallying. But he is one of the longest and best on the senior circuit, and the Irishman says he is still learning how to cope with trying to win in the future.
“I’ve always found myself more of a chaser than the guy in front. And now one thing about the Champions Tour is that I’ve got a few leads and I’ve got to learn, and I’m learning,” he said. “I can’t believe I’m 51 and mentally I’m getting better.”
Steve Stricker, who won in Michigan two weeks ago, and John Daly were among those who turned 67.
Former British Open champion Justin Leonard, who retired early to work in television, made the cut in 69 PGA Tour championships.