American Julius Boros is the oldest winner of a 'Big Four' event,
having triumphed in the 1968 U.S. PGA Championship at the age of 48,
but his record has been in danger of falling several times in recent
Greg Norman went close in the 2008 British Open at Birkdale at the
age of 53 and Tom Watson was nearer still in the same championship
at Turnberry a year later, agonizingly missing out to fellow
American Stewart Cink in a playoff at the age of 59.
Couples, Langer and Jimenez have featured prominently on major
leader boards in recent seasons and it came as no surprise when they
all mounted a title challenge at Augusta National on Sunday.
Langer and 1992 Masters winner Couples are seasoned campaigners on
the Champions Tour and the American said their successes on the
senior circuit was a big help when it came to mixing it with the
"The Champions Tour is tough but when you're winning all the time
you feel like you're doing well when you come over on to this tour,"
the 54-year-old Couples told reporters after finishing 10 shots
behind Masters champion Bubba Watson.
"It would be like winning the lottery to win this thing but you
The 56-year-old Langer fared even better at Augusta, a closing 69
securing a share of eighth place, eight strokes adrift of Watson.
Langer said the veterans had sent out a statement after six 50-plus
competitors made the cut at the opening major championship of the
Asked what kind of statement, he replied: "What do you think? I
think everybody can figure that out.
"There are a lot of good over-50 players. We can compete at the
highest level and even on a very, very long golf course like this
Couples described 1985 and 1993 Masters winner Langer as probably
the hardest working player on the Champions Tour.
[to top of second column]
"He has probably played this event for 30 years or more," said the
smooth-swinging American. "You get to know the course, you know the
wind, you know how to play it.
"Is it surprising? I don't think he's going to tell you it's
surprising but when you look at a 56-year-old and he finishes in the
top 10, that's something."
Jimenez, who finished fourth on Sunday, said the form of the golden
oldies was down to improved fitness levels and equipment.
"They are being more healthy," the 50-year-old Spaniard explained.
"I love the game, I love competing and probably that is the reason.
"Technology helps too, of course. But if you don't know how to hit
the ball then technology doesn't do anything."
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.