A 64-year-old was a foot away from Masters driving history? Yes.
Swing, hold the pose, thrust the driver forward, slide the club down the fingers, walk down the fairway.
Repeat 27 times. And nearly 28.
While we strive to deliver the most in-depth description of this Masters tournament, there’s nothing really more to type on the driving masterclass Bernhard Langer put on at Augusta National on Thursday and Friday. That’s no knock on Langer. It was remarkably efficient. It was nearly perfect. There are 28 possible fairways to hit here. And he nearly — by just a foot — hit them all. No one was better this year.
Nor is anyone older. At 64, he is the eldest player in the field.
“I think it’s remarkable what Bernhard Langer has done,” 72-year-old Tom Watson said Thursday after his honorary tee shot that helped open the tournament. “He had — a couple years ago he was pretty close to the lead going into the last round.
“I have to say this about Bernhard. Bernhard works harder at the game, practices harder at the game. He has a caddie that works harder than any other caddie preparing. They both prepare the best. I remember Jack [Nicklaus] saying that I won a lot of tournaments because I out-prepared everybody.
“You don’t have to play the best. That’s one of the things when I learned — I came on the Tour, I thought, I have to play perfect golf to ever have a chance to maybe even make a cut or certainly to win a tournament. I had to play my best. No. You have to play smart. That’s why I was talking about how — I watched and learned from the players in practice rounds and how they were playing the golf course.
“Bernhard is that type of person.”
Indeed. During Thursday’s first round, Langer hit all 14 fairways. On Friday, he was down the middle on 1, down the left side on 2, down the middle on 3 and down the right side on 5.
On the 450-yard, par-4 7th, Langer leaned to his left, trying to coax his tee shot to the right. He could not.
It settled into the right rough by no more than 12 inches.
On 9, he just started again.
A look at Bernhard Langer’s second-round tee shots:
1st (445-yard, par-4): 249 yards down the middle of the fairway
2nd (575-yard, par-5): 273 yards down the left side of the fairway
3rd (350-yard, par-4): 214 yards down the middle of the fairway
5th (495-yard par-4): 271 yards down the right side of the fairway
7th: (450-yard, par-4): 289 yards into the first cut on the right
8th (570-yard, par-5): 261 yards down the left side of the fairway
9th (460-yard, par-4): 313 yards down the middle of the fairway
10th (495-yard, par-4): 284 yards down the left side of the fairway
11th (520-yard, par-4): 276 yards down the left side of the fairway
13th (510-yard, par-5): 259 yards down the left side of the fairway
14th (440-yard, par-4): 267 yards down the middle of the fairway
15th (550-yard, par-5): 241 yards down the right side of the fairway
17th (440-yard, par-4): 264 yards down the right side of the fairway
18th 465-yard, par-4: 261 yards down the left side of the fairway