Bernhard Langer leads at the Senior Open at Royal Porthcawl after carding a six under par 65 during the opening day.

The conditions in Wales were challenging and the fast-running course caused problems for many players leaving only six men able to post under par scores.

But Langer appeared to master the testing conditions with birdies on the third, fourth, sixth and eighth and leads by two shots.

Langer delighted

Langer was extremely pleased with his opening round and is believes his lack of mistakes was key to his impressive score.

"Six under is very satisfying," Langer said. "I played smart, some good, some great. I didn't make many mistakes and that's what it comes down to at the end."

The German threw away a two shot lead on the final hole last year at Royal Birkdale and eventually lost in a play-off.

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Bernhard Langer enjoying links challenge

But after day one he leads American Bob Tway by two strokes with England's Chris Williams and Scotland's Andrew Olcorn in persuit.

Williams is in third place after reaching three under par with a bogey free round while Olcorn managed a two under par 69.

Tway won the US PGA Championship back in 1986 and teed off early on Thursday. He led the field for the majority of the day but slipped to second after Langer birdies holes 17 and 18.

Montgomerie speaks

Colin Montgomerie was looking for a clean sweep of senior major titles in his first season in senior ranks having already clinched the senior US Open and PGA Championship.

However the 51-year old, who has always struggled playing links golf, is seven shots off the pace and struggled to one over par 72 during his first round.

Although there's three more rounds to play, Montgomerie seemed to have ruled out him chances suggesting that the course isn't suited to his game.

"This has never really been my sort of course if I'm honest with you. If I was to be brutally honest, I don't have a very good record in the Open Championship. Although I was second once," Montgomerie told www.europeantour.com.

"But I do prefer the American style of courses. This is guesswork and I'm not very good at guessing. So I've got to go back to the poker tables and guess a bit more and see how I go tomorrow.

“It's very, very firm and fast, quite like Muirfield last year or even Hoylake back in 2006. If we don’t get rain tonight, it might be even tougher.

“But you've got to guess the right way out there, because that's what links golf is like in these conditions. Phil Mickelson managed it at Muirfield, so we have to do the same here.”

Welshman Ian Woosnam is currently one shot behind Mongomerie after three bogey on the front nine. He managed to claw back two shots but a bogey on the 17th saw him drop to two over par for the day.

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