Bernhard Langer is now a five-time PNC Championship winner. Here's how he’s going to reward himself
ORLANDO — Bernhard Langer won a record-tying fifth PNC Championship Sunday at Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and quickly wanted everyone to know that he was going on vacation.
This little nugget serves as breaking news coming from golf’s ironman who has been winning everything in front of him for more than four decades. Yes, the man does take time off from the game.
“From now on, I’m on vacation,” Langer said, standing with son Jason. “So this is a bonus here … we’re heading tomorrow to Europe, to Germany, to spend time over there.”
Langer certainly deserved the rest and relaxation after another year of grinding on PGA Tour Champions. At 66, he played in 24 events, collected 21 top-25 finishes, and won twice, including the U.S. Senior Open in July, his 12th career senior major. It also allowed him to set the record for most PGA Tour Champions wins at 46, breaking Hale Irwin’s seemingly unbreakable mark.
Sunday at the PNC Championship, the Langers started the day three shots behind Matt Kuchar and his son Cameron, but they erased that deficit in just three holes. The Langers birdied each of the first seven holes—while the Kuchars’ putters ran cold—and shot 28 on the front nine with another birdie on the ninth hole. By that time they built an insurmountable lead and with five birdies on the back they were the lone team to break 60 in the final round, good enough for a two-stroke victory over David Duval and his son Brady, who made eagle on the last hole to sneak by the Singhs. The Langers shot 25-under total for two days.
“Just it's always special whether you win or not, just being here is like the Olympics,” Bernhard said. “They only take 20 teams and there's probably 25 on the waiting list that would love to be here. It's always a wonderful thing to get an invitation to come and play here, and as you all know, I've got four kids, played with all four of them, and we have a lot of wonderful memories.”
Jason Langer, 23, and a graduate from the University of Pennsylvania who now works in Manhattan, has bragging rights over his two sisters and brother. He’s now paired with his father to win three of the five PNC Championships.
“I'm the youngest of four of my other three siblings, they are all married and have kids,” Jason said. “They are at a bit of a different stage of life than me. In years past, multiple people wanted to play and we were all sort of playing golf and we wanted to play. Maybe had a qualifier one year or we kind of alternated. This year, no one was really vying for this other than me, and I got the nod.
“It was a ton of fun. I said it earlier, but I don't get to play as much golf anymore, and I don't get to see my parents and my family quite as much anymore. To be able to play golf as a family and in a beautiful spot and great competition and play a really good golf course, it's amazing.”
Now Bernhard heads to his beloved Germany with yet another trophy to add to his impressive collection that includes two green jackets from winning the Masters in 1985 and 1993.
“We look forward to be home skiing for a couple of days and spend time in the snow,” Bernhard said. “It was the weirdest thing for me when I came over here to live in America and married a woman from Florida, and spending Christmas Day in 80 degrees of weather was kind of, this is not Christmas, you know. I always related Christmas with cold and snow or ice or something like that. But we got used to it. So it will be nice to go back and see some of my family.”