Langer wins Insperity Invitational for fourth time
German legend and World Golf Hall of Famer claims event in wire-to-wire fashion
May 06, 2018
By The Associated Press
- May 06, 2018
- Bernhard Langer shot a 2-under 70 to win by 1 shot at The Woodlands Country Club. (Courtesy of Paul Lester)
THE WOODLANDS, Texas (AP) -- It took Bernhard Langer nine starts to pick up his first PGA TOUR Champions victory of the year, and it was tougher than he imagined.
He started with a one-shot lead and before he could reach the turn, Langer fell as many as four shots behind. He rallied to take the lead, only to block a tee shot toward the trees on the final hole, catch a small break because a TV structure was in his way, and scramble for par.
It ended with Langer knocking in a par putt just inside 4 feet for a 2-under 70 and a one-shot victory in the Insperity Invitational.
"I was very, very fortunate in the end to pull this off," the 60-year-old Langer said. "I've got a lot more gray hair right now."
Langer won for the 37th time on PGA TOUR Champions -- only Hale Irwin with 45 victories has more -- and for the fourth time at the Insperity Invitational.
Paul Goydos led for much of the back nine. He dropped two shots over the final five holes, including a bogey on the 18th that gave him a 68. He tied for second with Jeff Maggert and Bart Bryant, who each had a 69.
"I'm always surprised when I play well, especially this week," said Goydos, who had not finished higher than 24th this season. "I had no inclination that I was going to be remotely competitive. But I probably made the most birdies of anybody (for the week) but also, as it turned out, too many bogeys."
Goydos was right. He led the field with 19 birdies.
Langer finished at 11-under 205 and won $330,000 to move to the top of the Charles Schwab Cup standings for the first time all year.
He was 2 over for the final round through eight holes at the The Woodlands Country Club and at one point noticed that Goydos was starting to pull away. Langer made a key birdie at No. 9, added one to start the back nine and then made birdie on both par 5s.
"I figured I needed 12 under to have a chance. I was fortunate that 11 under did it," Langer said.
He last won in the penultimate Schwab Cup playoff event last year. Not only did he go the first four months without winning, Langer was out of the top 15 in four out of five starts earlier in the season.
He was getting closer, losing in playoffs each of last two PGA TOUR Champions events.
"I didn't want to do three playoffs in a row here," he said.
Bernhard Langer, 63-72-70—205 (-11)
• Langer entered the Insperity Invitational No. 5 on the Charles Schwab Cup, he now moves to No. 1 for the first time this year at $802,721. The four-time winner of the Charles Schwab Cup led 23 of 26 weeks last year, and this marks the seventh consecutive year he has been No. 1 at some point in the season.
• The win is his seventh wire-to-wire victory, and his first since the 2016 Chubb Classic. It’s the second time he has won the Insperity Invitational in wire-to-wire fashion (2007).
• Langer is now 24-for-37 in converting 36-hole leads/co-leads into victories, including one of his two opportunities this season.
• This is the 13th time Langer has won by one shot on PGA TOUR Champions. The last time he won by one stroke was at the 2017 Dominion Energy Charity Classic.
• Langer becomes just the third player to win a tournament four times or more. Hale Irwin won two tournaments more than four times, while Jack Nicklaus accomplished the feat once.
-- 6: Hale Irwin, 1997, 2000 Kaanapali Classic; 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005 Turtle Bay Championship (no event in 2004)
-- 4: Jack Nicklaus, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996 Regions Tradition
-- 4: Hale Irwin, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2004 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship
• This is his 12th straight season with a victory, setting a PGA TOUR Champions record. He was previously tied with Hale Irwin for most all-time.
• The victory is his fourth since turning 60 years old, becoming the Tour’s all-time leader in wins with 37 at age 60 or older. He previously shared the record with Hale Irwin.
• Langer’s first victory on PGA TOUR Champions came 11 years ago in 2007 when the tournament was played at Augusta Pines.
Paul Goydos, 70-68-68—206 (-10)
• Goydos opened with back-to-back birdies to begin his final round in his fifth appearance at the Insperity Invitational. After two bogeys and four birdies he finished 4-under for the second day in a row to end the tournament at T2, one shot behind Langer. His runner-up finish is the best since he won the 2017 3M Championship in a playoff over Gene Sauers.
• On the week, he led the field in birdies with 19, was 8-under of the par-5s and was 36 for 42 in driving accuracy, both tie for fourth in the field.
• Goydos improved from No. 64 to No. 27 on the Charles Schwab Cup money list.
Jeff Maggert, 66-71-69—206 (-10)
• After beginning his final round with back-to-back bogeys, Maggert closed his sixth appearance at the Insperity Invitational with a solid back nine 31, tying for third-lowest in tournament history.
• This is just the second time Maggert has finished runner-up on PGA TOUR Champions, with his other coming at the 2016 Insperity Invitational.
• The Houston native has extensive experience with TPC Woodlands, having competed in the Houston Open 26 times, finishing in the top-10, 10 times and runner-up twice (1996, 1998).
• Maggert moves up 24 places to No. 17 in the Charles Schwab Cup standings at $288,618.
Bart Bryant, 70-67-69—206 (-10)
• Bryant carded an even-par front nine, followed by a back-nine 33 en route to his runner-up finish in his seventh appearance at the Insperity Invitational. His T2 finish is his best since he finished runner-up at the 2016 Toshiba Classic.
• Bryant finished with back-to-back bogey-free rounds, and he tied for first in the field with the least number of bogeys, allowing just two in the opening round. He was also tied for first in greens in regulation finding 45 of 54.
• In just his second start off shoulder surgery, Kenny Perry continued to climb throughout the week, moving up 54 places after the first round to T8 after carding the best score of the second round at 65. He finished T5 after carding a final round 69, his best finish since the 2017 U.S. Senior Open Championship.
• Tom Pernice carded a final-round 71 and finished T5. He played in Sunday’s final group for the second time this season. He also finished T2 after shooting a final-round 69 at the Toshiba Classic.
• Mark Calcavecchia carded an opening-round 67 followed by a 69 in the second round to enter Sunday in a four-way tie for second. In the final round he carded an even-par for a T10 finish, moving him into the top-10 on the Charles Schwab Cup money list.
• After carding a final-round 5-under 67, David Toms moved 16 places up the leaderboard to sit in the top-10 for the sixth time this year on PGA TOUR Champions.
Bernhard Langer captures first victory of 2018 at Insperity