Two-time Masters winner says goodbye. But not before 1 final driver off deck

Bernhard Langer

Bernhard Langer, with a driver, hits his second shot on Friday on the 18th hole.

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Bernhard Langer, after two Masters wins, after 42 wins on the formerly named European Tour, after a record 46 wins on the over-50 circuit, after 52 years as a professional, was experiencing a first. He said he wasn’t sure how he’d react. 

After all, Langer said he’s never said a golf goodbye. 

“I have a feeling,” the 66-year-old told the DP World Tour website, “it’s going to be very emotional.”

Of course it would be. Despite play suggesting otherwise — maybe something other-wordly, perhaps something robotic — he’s human. And things did eventually turn teary Friday at Golfclub Munchen Eichenried in Munich, Germany, about 45 minutes from where Langer grew up. Earlier, he said this week’s BMW International Open would be his last on the Euro circuit, after 512 previous starts, and after rounds of one-under 71 and one-over 73, Langer missed the weekend by three shots. 

Afterward, he doffed his visor on 18, and the faithful cheered. He hugged playing partner Marcel Siem, a fellow German. He hugged playing partner Martin Kaymer, another fellow German. They’d followed him. Langer gave a thumbs-up to the crowd. He gave a wave. He blew a kiss. He greeted family and friends. He signed his card. 

They then asked what the tour meant to him, and how he thought this week would go then happened.

“It’s hard to put into words,” he said in front of the Golf Channel cameras. 

“Um, it’s kind of been a dream come true for me, you know, growing up in a village of 800 people where nobody knew what golf was. When I told my classmates I’m going to go play golf, they thought I’m crazy and they thought I’m a putt-putt golfer, mini-golfer and all that. So people had no idea. And it was really a strange situation even when I finished school and I tried to become a golf professional, people didn’t even know what that was, didn’t even exist as a profession in a way, so it was very difficult, complicated, but it was my dream.”

Here, Langer stopped. He took a second. He apologized. He continued. 

“Yeah, I was able to live that dream for 50 years, 51 years now. Wonderful memories all over the world, not just in Europe, but over in Asia, Australia, Japan, America, really everywhere, South Africa. Able to travel the world, meet with kings and queens and play golf with all sorts of people, whether they’re successful businessmen or just the average butcher or bricklayer or whatever. It was fun. It was great. Yeah, I had lots of ups and downs in my career. There were difficult times with the yips and other things, but I’ve had many wonderful moments.

“It was a privilege to play with a big five, as they call them — Seve [Ballesteros] and [Nick] Faldo and [Sandy] Lyle and Woosy [Ian Woosnam]. I think we spurred each other on. I believe we probably made the tour in the ’80s and ’90s what it is now, what it has become, and it was fun playing against these guys, and the youngsters now bear the benefits of that.”

But Friday, toward the end, there was also something more. 

A driver off the deck. 

Of course, Langer would give it a go. You think he’d lay up on the par-5 18th after a true drive down the left side of the fairway? You think he couldn’t weave a ball onto the green despite water just to the right of it and a bunker to the left? You think he’d play it carefully after hobbling some on Friday, the result of an Achilles tendon tear he suffered in February. 

No. Driver it was. In 2004, in his final PGA Tour appearance, Arnold Palmer had done the same

Notably, in the background on Friday, a siren rang. 

“Out with the driver, is he?” an announcer on the broadcast said. “He’s got the driver. Go on. Go on, rip it on this green.”

Langer swung. 

He leaned over. His ball went right. 

It landed about 50 yards short of the green. It rolled into the water. The gallery moaned. Had it sailed straighter, it would’ve probably reached. 

Langer then laughed. 

“Oh, he had a go,” an announcer said. “Entertainer right to the end.”

“It’s just fabulous he’s having a go at the last,” an announcer said. “His last shot, his last long shot. You know, why not? Have a go with the driver off the deck, the hardest shot in the game.”

But there is good news, should you be a Langer fan. 

He’ll continue to play on the PGA Tour Champions. Next April, he’ll again play at the Masters, though that will be his last playing appearance at Augusta National.

Langer also parred the 18th on Friday. 

He dropped near the water. He chipped on. He dropped a 9-footer for par.  

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at

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