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
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
News
David Ryall in Harry Potter
people
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Wayne Rooney warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane
football
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Assistant

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have previous experience...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015