Champions Insider: Fittingly, it's down to Langer, Couples

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Bernhard Langer (left) and Fred Couples (right) have battled each other for nearly 30 years in major championships, Ryder Cups -- and now, as the only two players with a real chance at the Charles Schwab Cup.
November 03, 2010
Vartan Kupelian, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

The drama unfolding at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship is a fitting end to a 2010 Champions Tour season dominated by Bernhard Langer and Fred Couples.

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They are the two remaining candidates with a chance to win the bonus $1 million annuity for season-long excellence. Langer holds a substantial lead and Couples needs no less than victory at Harding Park Golf Course.

While Langer and Couples, who have won nine events between them this season, stage their duel, the 28 other golfers in the elite field will have their eyes on a tournament victory that turns a good year into an excellent campaign and an excellent campaign into great.

That's what defending champion John Cook achieved last year with his five-stroke victory over Russ Cochran. And Cook is poised to do it again. He is fashioning another late-season charge and is in an increasingly large group capable of stealing the thunder.

The 72-hole Charles Schwab Cup Championship has a $2.5 million purse, with $440,000 and 880 Charles Schwab Cup points to the winner.

That last number is significant because Langer, with 3,207 points accumulated over the 26-event schedule, holds a 582-point lead over Couples. Cochran, third in the points standing, is 1,617 points behind Langer.

So it's down to Langer and Couples.

Langer has won five times this year and is well on his way to collecting an unprecedented third straight Player of the Year.

Charles Schwab Cup
Bernhard Langer is on target to win a third consecutive Jack Nicklaus Trophy as well as the Arnold Palmer Award as the tour's leading money winner. Storylines | Tee Times

It might be a Bernhard-Freddie show this weekend, but not if a red-hot Russ Cochran can help it. Check out Vartan Kupelian's top five for this week's season finale at Harding Park. Power Rankings