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Langers win Father-Son Challenge

Stefan and Bernhard Langer won the MBNA WorldPoints Father/Son Challenge on Sunday, combining for an 11-under 61 and a one-stroke victory over five-time event champion Ray Floyd and son Robert.

Stefan Langer, a 15-year-old high school freshman, hit a 3-wood from 216 yards to 20 feet on the 528-yard, par-5 18th, where the duo two-putted for a birdie and the $200,000 first-place check in the Champions Tour-sanctioned scramble event.

They had a 24-under 120 total on the ChampionsGate Golf Resort course.

When Robert Floyd rolled in a 20-footer for an eagle on the 18th, the Langers knew as they stood on the 18th tee that a birdie was required to win. After Bernhard split the fairway off the tee, Stefan hit the key shot.

"It was a little nerve-racking, but fun at the same time," said Stefan, already a scratch player. "When you've got your dad there next to you, it's not as bad."

Stefan became the youngest winning son in the event's 11-year history -- and by a whopping six years. Ray Floyd Jr. was 21 when he won the inaugural Father/Son in 1995.

Stefan was the frontman of a veritable youth movement Sunday. Of the seven teams tied for third or better, three featured sons 16 or younger. Vijay Singh and son Qass, 15, finished in a five-way tie for third, a group that also included Mark O'Meara and son Shaun, 16.

The Langers held steady despite the best back-nine shootout in tournament history. With seven holes remaining for the last group, there were five teams tied for the lead. The Floyds seemed positioned to win for a sixth time but managed only one birdie over a four-hole stretch starting on No. 14, a crucial flat spot at a bad time.

"You have the momentum and then you shoot about the highest score you could over the next three or four holes," Robert Floyd said.

Down the road, the Langers might be poised to threaten the Floyd family record, given Stefan's age and the fact that Bernhard isn't exactly over the hill at age 48.

"He should only get better," Bernhard said. "I'm just trying not to get worse."

The Floyds closed with a 61.

December 5, 2005

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