How Bernhard Langer made history with his latest Champions Tour win
Bernhard Langer won his first professional tournament in 1975, and 46 years later, he’s still adding to his trophy case.
Langer claimed his latest title last weekend at the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, besting Doug Barron in a sudden-death playoff to earn his 42nd victory on the senior circuit. The win leaves him just three titles shy of Hale Irwin’s all-time Champions Tour record.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” Langer said. “I haven’t won since Tucson last year. It’s been a while, but that’s how much sweeter it is.”
And while the win has the veteran on the heels of Irwin’s total wins record, this victory has some historical significance of its own. Langer, 64, became the oldest winner in Champions Tour history when he dispatched Barron on Sunday, besting the previous mark held by Scott Hoch who won at 63 years old in 2019.
Langer has now won on the at least once over the last 15 calendar years, dating back to 2006.
“I think it’s just encouraging to everybody that’s over 50 or 60, we can still perform at a very high level, and you should never give up,” Langer said. “And of course, physical conditioning is one thing. You’ve got to be mentally tough; you’ve got to have good technique and nerves and all of rest of it.”
Langer began the day trailing 36-hole leader Steve Flesch by two strokes but used four birdies to close with a final-round 69 to reach the top of the leaderboard. Flesch could only manage 73 and finished two strokes outside the eventual playoff.
Barron, Langer’s playoff counterpart, was searching for his third Champions Tour victory after his final-round 68 to force sudden death. However, he could not hole his six-footer for birdie on the first extra hole and watched as Langer rolled in his birdie try shortly after.
“He’s incredibly, incredibly gifted, and he’s one of my heroes and good friends,” Barron said. “If I’m going to get beat, I don’t mind getting beat by him. He’s one of those guys that you just never can pull against.”
The win extends Langer’s lead in the Charles Schwab Cup as he looks to win the season-long points race for the sixth time.
“The Schwab Cup is the next goal as it has been for a year and a half or two years now,” Langer said. “We’re a little bit closer, but it’s not over yet.”