Bernhard Langer wins the US Senior Open, setting the file for profession wins amongst PGA Tour champions
STEVENS POINT, Wisconsin – Bernhard Langer won the US Senior Open at SentryWorld on Sunday, breaking a career record for PGA Tour champions.
The German star increased his record as the oldest winner of the 50-and-over Tour to 65 years, 10 months and 5 days and broke a tie with Hale Irwin in 46th place and secured the victory mark.
“I have my mother who turns 100 on August 4th, so I think I have good genes,” Langer said. “Hopefully I’ll be there for a few more years.”
Seven shots clear of the back nine on the tree-lined, dense rough course, Langer bogeyed on the last three holes to secure a 1-under-70 and a 2-shot win over home favorite Steve Stricker.
“I never thought it would happen at a US Senior Open, but I’m very excited that this week’s record 46 wins was reached,” said Langer. “It’s certainly one of the greatest tournaments we’ve ever been in and beating this field where everyone was in attendance, especially knitters and [Jerry] Having Kelly at her home stadium is a very special feeling.”
Langer finished on 7-under 277 with just eight players breaking par this week. He broke the tournament age record set by Allen Doyle at SentryWorld in 2006 at 57 years, 11 months and 14 days.
“There’s a lot more pain than there was ten years ago,” Langer said. “I still enjoy the game. If I play like this week, I will keep playing. There was a week or two where I was like, ‘What were you doing out here? Go home and play with the grandkids.’ ‘”
Langer, also a 2010 US Senior Open winner in Sahalee outside of Seattle, extended his record for senior major wins to 12. In February he won the Chubb Classic in Florida and drew level with Irwin.
Victory at Sunday’s US Senior Open was Bernhard Langer’s record-breaking 46th place finish on the PGA Tour Champions circuit. Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Stricker — from Madison, 100 miles south — birdied three of the last five holes for a 69.
“I think it gives all of us who are still playing out here hope that we can continue to play as well as he has played for so long,” Stricker said of Langer. “It’s really impressive. I knew he wouldn’t back down today.”
Stricker won the first two senior majors of the year and picked up his fourth champion win of the season at his hometown Madison event three weeks ago.
“It felt like I had a bad nine holes there every day and that ended up costing me the tournament,” said Stricker.
Kelly, also from Madison, finished third after a 71 with 4 under.
“I was way too excited,” Kelly said. “I tried to keep my cool and calm, but I talked more than I’ve had all week. I’ve been moving a little faster than I’ve been all week.”
Two strokes ahead of Kelly, who entered the round, Langer birdied the first two holes for the second year in a row.
Langer added a birdie at No. 5, then rounded off a bogey at No. 6 with a birdie at No. 7. He opened the back nine with a birdie on the 10th, parried the next five, and finished with three straight bogeys.
“It wasn’t easy,” Langer said. “My age probably showed towards the end.”
Brett Quigley (66) and Rob Labritz (69) finished fourth with 2 under. Two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen (71), Steven Alker (65) and Dicky Pride (69) were 1-down.
“The rough was difficult and although I missed so many fairways I think I was fine,” said Goosen. “I was like a cow out there, eating cabbage all the time.”
Langer sacrificed distance for accuracy to stay out of the rough.
“I think that’s one of the reasons I did so well. I didn’t hit very often in the rough,” said Langer. “Sometimes I would hit a lot of 3-woods off the tee, but then I would have to hit 3-woods into the green or a very long club. But I’d rather do that than hit the driver and wedge it out of the rough.”