About Us Contact Us Advertise Newsletter

Golf news, golf reports, golf headlines, golf updates,golf features

Golf Today > News Archive > 2008 Archive >


Bernard Langer enjoying the Champions Tour

Expectations run high when any former standout on the PGA Tour turns 50 and takes his game to the Champions Tour.

Those expectations go even higher when former major championship winners make their debuts on the over-50 circuit.

Former Masters winner Ben Crenshaw and three-time major championship winner Nick Price have yet to live up to their previous successes, neither having won a Champions Tour event.

The same can't be said of two-time Masters champion Bernard Langer, who has hit the ground running. In just 10 starts on the Champions Tour, Langer has won twice. He finished tied for fifth at last weekend's AT&T; Champions Classic at Valencia Country Club.

Unlike Price and Crenshaw, Langer was extremely competitive on the PGA Tour in the few years leading up to his Champions Tour debut in late 2007.

In 2007, Langer played 14 times on the PGA Tour, posting four top-10 finishes, including a second at Colonial, and earned $1,153,063.

"I was hoping to do what I'm doing out here," Langer said. "Being one of the younger guys (on the Champions Tour), I still was very competitive on the regular tour. I had a very good year when I was 49, 50.

"I came close to winning on the regular tour last year (at Colonial), but I lost a playoff and was in contention several other times. I was hoping to continue that good form and come out here and be one of the dominant players."

Jay Haas, who has also been a major force in his first few years on the Champions Tour, has seen plenty of Langer, a native of Germany, over the years.

Langer beat Haas in a playoff two weeks ago to capture the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach. At Valencia, the two men played together both days on the weekend.

"When you stand on the tee box and they announced Bernard Langer, winner of 85 tournaments worldwide,' you realize just how great a player he has been over the years," Haas said. "Bernard is a tremendous player and a great asset to our tour."

While Langer has had great success winning around the world, he has only won a handful of tournaments on the PGA Tour. But when two of them come at Augusta National, the perception is Langer has won more in the United States.

He said winning majors and winning a regular tour event are completely different animals.

When you're in the hunt in a major, Langer said the stress level is extremely high.

"Mentally, it's extremely tough," Langer said. "You know one mistake can finish you off. One great shot can make you the winner and one bad shot can make you the loser. You now that on any given shot, any given hole. That's the tough part."

While any player who wins a major pushes his status up a notch, Langer said he was driven to try and win more than one big prize.

"The first (major) is very big because you always wonder, can I win a major?" Langer said. "Once you've done it once, you wonder, can I do it again? It was important for me personally to win two of them so I knew it wasn't a fluke.

"To win the Masters, especially, is so special because you're invited for the rest of your life.''

Like many newcomers to the Champions Tour, Langer has quickly discovered the competition is fierce.

Langer projected that out of the 78 players on the tour, there's 55-65 who could win any week.

"That's how good the competition is," Langer said. "It's only going to get better because you have more and more guys coming out from the PGA Tour. The guys who are good out here, they're not going to want to quit.''

Langer is enjoying the competition and the camaraderie.

Langer said during his last few years on the PGA Tour, the age gap made it difficult for him to relate to the younger players. But that's not the case as a newcomer to the Champions Tour.

"We have so much in common," said Langer of his Champions Tour brethren. "We're all same age. ... We've known each other for a long time and we can relate to each other. We respect each other.

"(There's) not some 25-year-old running around that you don't know who he is and where he comes from."


March 19, 2008

Golf Today Classifieds

Bookmark page with:
What are these Email This Page Subscribe Follow us on Twitter Top of Page
News Tours Rankings Tuition Course Directory Equipment Asian Travel Notice Board

© Golftoday.co.uk 1996-2014