Langer praying for a tempest to help steady his hand

Popular German hoping to add an Open title to the two Masters Green Jackets in his wardrobe back home

Bernhard Langer does not mind what the weather is like at Royal Troon this week, just as long as it suggests that Armageddon is on the way. He will settle for either screaming winds or thunder-crackling skies.

For when it comes to predictions in extreme weather, even Michael Fish could forecast that Langer would take a hand in a golf tournament. Earlier this season it was the German who captured the Benson and Hedges International when a near tornado attempted to take the St Mellion clubhouse on the same path as Dorothy's house to Munchkinland.

Troon may seem benign during its light zephyr days, but this is a trout tickler of a course where finesse and course management are paramount. "Someone said that no one murders Troon," Lee Trevino once said. "The way I played the Open there they couldn't even arrest me for second degree manslaughter."

The vagaries of the Ayrshire gales leave hope in a man who has missed his last two cuts. "My course strategy comes out better in bad conditions," Langer said. "I don't blame the circumstances for not playing well and I don't talk myself into being miserable. I just accept what I find out there and try to make the best out of it. Sometimes the best is a 63 and sometimes it's an 83. Some of that is natural to me and some of it I have to work on."

The ready image of Langer is the Bavarian automaton, a man who would not react if his puppy disappeared under a lorry wheel. If you ask him why he is so undemonstrative, a crevice smile opens up on his face which renders the question rather absurd. "I have lots of emotions and if you ask my caddie I'm sure he will confirm that," he answered. "Maybe I have a different way of showing it because I'm not an explosive person who reacts immediately, but somebody who keeps something inside. It's good that way because if we were all the same it would be boring.

"Some days I'm more nervous than others and a lot of that depends on how well you're playing and how confident you are. When I'm playing well I feel as though I can hit any shot under any circumstance."

Some of Langer's stoicism can be attributed to the chromosomes. His distant family were wealthy farmers from the Czechoslavakia-fringed regions of the Sudetenland, an area quickly swallowed up by Nazi Germany's expansion eastwards.

Langer's father, Erwin, was conscripted and assigned as a courier feeding news to the German lines. He was captured by the Russians in 1945 and did not think much of the restorative qualities of his destination when he learned it was a lovely little place called Siberia. Erwin jumped train one night and fled into the woods before resettling in Anhausen, where Bernhard was born.

He has since won 49 Tour events and his two majors have come in the Masters, amid the marbled halls (and marbled greens) of Augusta. For morbid fascination, watching Langer putt has often been like peering at the steaming wreckage of a motorway collision.

His most celebrated putt was a six-footer at Kiawah Island in the 1991 Ryder Cup. It missed, but there was no better man to miss it. "At first it was something that consumed me but, from a Christian point of view, there was only one perfect human being, the Lord Jesus, and we killed him," Langer said at the time. "I only missed a putt.

"It was better that I had to take that putt rather than any of the others. I probably got over it better and faster than some might have done."

These days, with several attacks of the yips and a full reading of the putting Kama Sutra behind him, Langer is no longer penitent. "I really don't ponder on it at all," he said. "I gave it my best and I actually made a good putt there. It felt like a good stroke, but in the end it was just a misread and the green was not like a billiard table. I didn't miss on purpose.

"There are still a lot of options left with the putting, you know. Nobody would have thought you could putt the way I did for seven or eight years with my hand on the forearm. I might revert to what I did a few years ago or try something else they invent. The important thing is that it works. I might still experiment with different grips, techniques and putters. Right now I just play hole by hole and day by day, but it doesn't mean that the yips won't come back again because I've had them four times already."

If the broomhandle can sweep all before it at Troon then Langer believes he will have an early celebration before his 40th birthday next month. "You always wonder if you've won your last tournament, especially when you have a few weeks and months when you're not even close to winning," he said.

"I still hope to be in contention in majors and I played fairly well at the Masters, finishing seventh when nobody was close to Tiger. With a bit better form I could have finished second. I think there is still a major left in me, it's just a question of playing well that given week."

For those who appreciate a good guy among men who would not give you the cuttings from between their spikes there is a fervent wish for that week to arrive now. Blow wind, blow.

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates one of his goals during the FIFA World Cup 2014 round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
News
news
News
i100
Travel
Fair trade: the idea of honesty boxes relies on people paying their way
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
News
people
Sport
Antoine Griezmann has started two of France’s four games so far
sport
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sustainability Manager

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...

Graduate Sustainability Professional

Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, SC Clear

£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary