Why Langer is the 500/1 shot who could upset the odds at Carnoustie

Golf Equipment

Our equipment editor James Savage has been buzzing around the practice ground and tour trucks this week to pick up some behind the scenes gossip.

One of the fascinating things about an Open week is the tweaks which tour players make to their equipment ahead of a proper links golf challenge.

I’d only been on the Mizuno tour truck for five minutes early on Monday when Paul Casey popped in to grab a new 3-ion.

Casey plays the Mizuno MP-25 3-iron but had been using a graphite shaft. He switched to a Nippon steel shaft to get a stronger ball flight in the wind.

Out on the range I’d seen dozens of players hitting the new TaylorMade GAPR Lo 2-iron including Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods.

Tiger Woods GAPR

I later attended a press briefing and discovered there will actually be three new GAPR clubs – a Lo, Mid and Hi model.

And it’s not just new clubs. I spent time watching Jordan Speith on the range who was sporting a load of new Under Armour clobber.

If the weather turns a bit chilly he’ll be wearing a new UA Storm Daytona half zip as he looks to ‘eliminate the elements’.

Jordan Spieth Under Armour

“Not only is it going to be water resistant but it’s going to keep me warm while at the same time it’s actually breathable,” Spieth said.

“I don’t really know how that is possible or how they do it but that’s not my job. My job is to perform on the golf course and this piece helps me do that.”

The best nuggets often come when you least expect them. I was on the Titleist tour truck waiting to chat to their fitter Liam McDougall about the new TS2 and TS3 drivers.

I randomly found myself having a chat with Bernhard Langer’s caddie, Terry Holt, who’d come in to ask for some help tweaking his man’s irons and wedges.

While we were both waiting, I asked him what sort of a week they were expecting.

Holt explained how Langer has arguably as good a chance as anyone this week due to the fact he has played more tournament golf, and had success,at Carnoustie, than any other player in the field.

He won the Senior Open here in 2010 and finished in the top 10 in 2016.

Langer has been unstoppable on the senior tour since turning 50 but has struggled to compete with the bombers in his major appearances.

“This week he’ll be able to hit irons into par-5s rather than having to hit hybrids into par-4s,” Holt explained.

“The senior tour is what he focusses on now but he still wants to compete.

“We saw it with Tom Watson (2nd at Turnberry in 2009) and I think it’s only a matter of time before someone over the age of 50 wins the Open.

“If it is going to happen it will be during a week like this one where the course doesn’t offer such a big advantage to the big hitters.”

Holt had popped on to the Titleist truck to get some of the lead tapping on the back of his 10-year-old Adams irons tweaked.

Bernhard Langer clubs

He wanted more of the weight on his eight iron moved nearer to the heel to help him hit a fade.

So it’s clear that Langer is not here this week to simply make up the numbers.

If you fancy a punt, the German can be backed at around 500/1…

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