Bernhard Langer understands the odds are against him. He's realistic about where he will most likely finish today at Fox Chapel Golf Course, and in all likelihood, it's not first place.
A lackluster Thursday and Friday at the Constellation Senior Players Championship left Langer, a two-time Masters Champion, at 1 over and tied for 42nd place with two rounds remaining. But Langer vaulted up the leader board Saturday after shooting a 7-under 63 to bring his tournament total to 6 under.
"I'm way behind," Langer said. "There's always hope. You just never know in golf."
Langer is tied for 11th place. Fred Couples held onto his lead, finishing the third round at 15 under -- nine strokes ahead of Langer.
Though the odds are against him, Langer has been a part of a few come-from-behind victories in his career -- most notably a seven-stroke Sunday charge to win the Spanish Open. He needs to hold onto his Saturday momentum to give himself a chance.
His third round started much like his first two, making pars on his first two holes. But then, something started to change as he birdied his third and fourth holes of the day. A bogey on No. 17, his only blemish of the day, left him at 2 under on his first nine holes.
Then Langer, who began his day on the back nine, birdied No. 1. The next hole, he made a birdie -- with a near-miss.
"I had an eagle putt there, which I missed from not very far," Langer said.
Still, it was clear that Langer's game was in good shape.
He birdied the third hole to move to 5 under before his "highlight" came. Standing on the seventh tee box, Langer pulled a driver out and decided to go for the green on the 295-yard seventh.
His ball landed about 55 or 60 feet from the pin. He would make the putt to land at 7 under for the round, .
Sure, Langer had plenty to be proud of Saturday, and he even described his game as "very solid." But he still missed opportunities that he couldn't quite get over -- even after a score of 30 on his final nine holes.
"It could've easily been a 27," Langer said. "It wasn't meant to be.
"It would've been nice to get two or three today to get myself in a little more contention. I haven't given up hope. Hopefully I have a good round [today] and finish in the top 10 or top five."
Mike Vernon: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @m_vernon.