Langer, Love, Woosnam To Play Dick's Open!

                   

                    Bernhard Langer returned Monday to the site of a distinctive victory, not merely                    one that blends in among the 87 he's posted on golf courses worldwide.

Langer was on hand for Dick's Sporting Goods Open Media Day at En-Joie Golf Course, where last August he played 54 bogey-free holes in 16-under-par to best Woody Austin and Mark O'Meara by a stroke for his 23rd Champions Tour title.

"Last year was a wonderful memory for me, not just because I won, but I had my daughter (Christina) caddying for me. It was her first victory on the bag, not that she's caddied very often for me," said Langer, who'll celebrate his 58th birthday on the eve of the Dick's Open's ninth edition.

"We will never forget that. We have a few pictures at home on the wall."

A 2002 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee and two-time Masters champion, Langer ran his 2014 victory total to five last summer in Endicott, coming from four off the 36-hole pace to do so. He'll be back for a crack at becoming the first repeat Dick's Sporting Goods Open champion as part of a field that presently includes 26 of the top 30 on the 2014 earnings list.

Players committed to the event, disclosed Monday by tournament director John Karedes, include:

Twenty-time PGA Tour winner and 2012 and '16 Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III, who'll play the golf course for the first time since missing the cut a week before competing in the 1995 Ryder Cup at Oak Hill Country Club.

Ian Woosnam, 1991 Masters champion who'll make his Broome County debut.

O'Meara, who next month will be welcomed into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Kenny Perry, holder of 14 PGA Tour and seven Champions Tour titles.

Jay Haas and Nick Price, who in October will captain the respective sides for President's Cup competition in Korea.

Kevin Sutherland, author last year of a Champions Tour-record 59 in the second round, only to close with 74 and a seventh place share.

A group that'll compete at En-Joie for the first time as seniors. That cast includes Jeff Maggert, two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen, Scott McCarron, Rocco Mediate and 1990 B.C. Open champion Nolan Henke.

Mark Calcavecchia, winner over the weekend of the Principal Charity Classic in Iowa.

John Cook, 18-hole co-leader at En-Joie a summer ago.

"And we certainly expect additions over the next 75 days," said Karedes, who has secured commitments from 51 Champions Tour winners.

The Dick's Sporting Goods Open falls on the tour calendar one week after the Boeing Classic staged outside Seattle. Travel considerations will bump the event qualifier, ordinarily conducted Monday, to Tuesday at the Links at Hiawatha Landing.

The tournament proper is to begin at approximately 9:30 a.m. Aug. 28, and conclude at roughly 5 p.m. on Aug. 30. The 50-and-over set will compete for $1.9 in prize money on a tract declared Monday by superintendent Anthony Chapman to be "in Champions Tour condition as we speak."

Langer's showing here last year enabled him to draw even with Bob Charles for fifth position on the Champions Tour's all-time win list. As for the five-win season? That simply matched a career best.

His take on chances of becoming the golf tournament's first two-time champion?

"It's not easy to win two years in a row," he said, "but it's been done at other venues so maybe I could be the first one and make history that way."

Despite five top-10 finishes in nine events played this year to go with half-a-million in earnings, the native of Anhausen, Germany, expressed displeasure with the present state of his game. Unquestionably, the taste of last weekend's share of 48th place in Iowa contributed to the following description.

"It's nowhere near where it was last year at this point, I'm afraid," Langer said. "I got off to a really good start the last few years. The start this year wasn't too bad but, it's not quite where I'd like it to be. I've got some work to do in all the areas."