Bernhard Langer Wins US Senior Open, Marks Career Victory Over PGA Tour Champions

Stevens Point, Wis. Bernhard Langer broke the PGA Tour Champions’ career wins record by winning the US Senior Open at Centreworld on Sunday.

Extending his record as the oldest winner on Tour 50 and over to 65 years, 10 months, 5 days, the German star tied with Hale Irwin for the mark of wins with the No. 46.

“My mom is going to be 100 on August 4, so I guess I have good genes,” Langer said. “Hopefully, I’ll live for a few more years.”

Seven strokes ahead on the back nine, Langer bogeyed the last three holes for a 1-under 70 and a two-stroke victory over home state favorite Steve Stricker on a tree-lined course with thick rough.

“Never thought it would happen at the US Senior Open, but I’m thrilled to have a record 46 wins this week,” Langer said. “It’s definitely one of the greatest tournaments we’ve ever competed in, and to beat this ground, where everyone was here, especially the strikers and (Jerry) Kelly on their home ground, is a great feeling.” It’s a special feeling.”

Langer finished at 7-under 277, one of only eight players to have performed under par for the week. He broke the tournament age record of 57 years, 11 months, 14 days set by Alan Doyle at Prairie Dunes in 2006.

“There’s a lot more pain and discomfort now than there was 10 years ago,” Langer said. “I still enjoy the game. If I keep playing like this week, I’ll keep playing. That was the weirdest week when I thought, ‘What were you doing here? Go home and play with the grandchildren. ”

The two-time Masters champion has a record 13 wins since turning 60 and is in the top five on the list of oldest winners. He has achieved that many victories in 11 consecutive seasons and 14 seasons overall.

Also the 2010 US Senior Open winner at Sahli outside Seattle, Langer extended his record of senior major wins to 12. He won the Chubb Classic in Florida in February to equal Irwin.

Stricker – from Madison, 100 miles south – carded three of the last five holes for a 69.

The striker said of Langer, “I think it gives all of us hope that the guys who are still here playing, we can continue to play as well as they have been playing for a long time.” “That’s really impressive. I knew he wasn’t going to back down today.”

Stricker won the first two senior majors of the year and returned to his hometown Madison event three weeks ago for his fourth Champions victory of the season.

“It seemed like I was playing bad nine holes every day and that cost me the tournament,” said Striker.

Kelly, also from Madison, was tied for third at 4-under after a 71.

“I was so excited,” Kelly said. “I was trying to stay organized and calm, but I was talking more than I had been all week. I was moving a little bit more quickly than I’ve been all week.”

Langer birdied the first two holes for the second day in a row, two shots ahead of Kelly entering the round.

Langer added a birdie at No. 5, then a bogey at No. 6 followed by a birdie at No. 7. He opened the back nine with a birdie on the 10th, birdied the next five and finished with three straight bogeys.

“It wasn’t easy,” said Langer, who earned a spot at Pinehurst No. 2 at the US Open the following year. “My age probably started to show by the end.”

Brett Quigley (66) and Rob Lebritz (69) are tied for fourth at 2 under. Two-time US Open champion Retief Goossen (71), Steven Elker (65) and Dickie Pryde (69) were all at 1 under.

“The odds were tough and, as many fairways as I missed, I think I did,” Goossen said. “I was like that cow that ate cabbage all the time.”

Langer sacrificed distance for accuracy in the first two rounds, pairing with Goosen to survive the tough rounds.

Langer said, “I think that’s one of the reasons I did so well. I just didn’t hit it hard too many times.” “Many times I’ve hit several 3-woods off the tee, but then I’ve had to hit a 3-wood to the green or a very long club. But I’d rather do that than hit a driver and get it out of the rough.”

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