How Bernhard Langer’s first-place checks have increased during his six decades as a pro
Bernhard Langer took home $720,000 for winning the U.S. Senior Open, more than his two Masters victories (1985 and '93) combined.
If you're winning PGA Tour Champions majors at age 65, like Bernhard Langer did at the U.S. Senior Open Sunday, by definition times have changed since you turned professional. Langer is cashing first-place checks in a remarkable sixth decade as a professional, dating all the way back to the 1975 German National Open, a tournament he won at age 17. That victory was so far back there's no data on how much Langer won, but the DP World Tour does chronicle Langer's take-home pay for winning his first event on the “big” tour—the 14,000 pounds he earned for defeating Brian Barnes by five in the 1980 Dunlop Masters.
That performance wasn't dramatically different from the one Langer put on at the U.S. Senior Open last week. Langer was up by as many as seven strokes on Sunday before finishing bogey-bogey-bogey to win by two over Steve Stricker. The first-place prize was a PGA Tour Champions record $720,000—bigger than Langer's Masters winning cash-outs in 1985 ($126,000) and 1993 ($306,000) combined.
To put Langer's first European tour check in perspective, two weeks ago, every player in the field at the U.S. Open who missed the cut got $10,000 just for showing up. The Scotty Cameron putter Langer used to win the 1993 Masters—the first Cameron to be used to win a major—went for $59,097 at a 2021 auction. It's doubtful Langer's current Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball with an extended grip will ever get that much but given that Langer has now won more than $35 million just as a senior, he's probably never going to need to unload it to pay his mortgage.