CHARLES SCHWAB CUP
First-ever Schwab Playoffs, Langer provided drama
November 13, 2016
By Vartan Kupelian, PGATOUR.COM
- The three-event and first-ever Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs proved to be a success. (Brad Mangin/PGA TOUR)
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona – Mathematically-speaking, the odds of winning the Charles Schwab Cup under this year’s revised Schwab Cup Playoffs format were too high to contemplate. The people in charge of those things agreed the possibilities were in the millions even for a field of 35 golfers.
But the arithmetic doesn’t account for the reality of the PGA TOUR Champions and the man who has dominated it since his arrival a decade ago.
The numbers can’t measure what Bernhard Langer continues to accomplish. Sabermetrics haven’t yet come that far.
For an unprecedented third straight year, Langer claimed the Charles Schwab Cup Sunday and the PGA TOUR Champions' $1 million season-long bonus. It was his fourth Charles Schwab Cup title, the first coming in 2010.
Even a gerrymander of the new Schwab Cup Playoffs format to level the post-season playing field and create a more fitting climax to the end of the season could not discourage Langer. He had to relinquish a huge regular-season points lead and prove his superiority all over again in a three-event playoff. He did it in style.
Why wouldn’t he? He’s a competitor of the highest order and the bigger the obstacle the more determined he becomes in the pursuit. Langer went about his work at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship like he always does. With confidence, moxey and discipline. The Langer way.
“I have to pinch myself sometimes,” said Langer, who made his PGA TOUR Champions debut in 2007 and has seven major victories among his 29 career victories, second only behind Hale Irwin’s 45.
“I came out here hoping to be one of the top players, one of the top 5, top 10 players, but the way things have gone is pretty incredible. And I have a great team, I've got a good coach in Willi Hofmann, a good caddie (Terry Holt), good family support and my faith. All that combined with reasonable health lets me do stuff that not a lot of people can do.”
Paul Goydos went wire-to-wire to win the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, the other title on offer Sunday at Desert Mountain, with Langer and Colin Montgomerie finishing second and third, respectively. By moving past Montgomerie with a final-round 64, Langer held on to his lead in points to collect the Charles Schwab Cup.
Langer shot 67-66-64 for a 13-under 197 total. Montgomerie, who began the final round in a dead-heat with Langer in the Schwab Cup race, shot 68 for 199.
For the third straight year, Langer and Montgomerie finished 1-2 in the Charles Schwab Cup race. Montgomerie earned $500,000 in the season-long competition. Langer scored 3,200 points in the final accounting to Montgomerie’s 2,400 and 2,216 for Goydos.
“I think in golf this year, (Langer) is an underreported story,” Goydos said. “His worst finish was 13th? It would have been a shame if he didn't win the Schwab Cup, quite frankly.
“The guy is a super hero. Seems like he should get older. I mean he's getting better. It's his best year and he's 59. It's an amazing run. I don't really have the words. I don't really understand it. I'm not in that league and it's hard for me, it's hard for people to understand that because there's so few people capable of doing that. He might be the only one.”
Goydos finished third in the Charles Schwab Cup standings to earn a $300,000 share of the bonus, followed by Scott McCarron ($200,000) and Joe Durant ($100,000). Goydos started the final event 24th among the top 36 on the points list.
Goydos opened with 62 and held off the two best players on the PGA TOUR Champions through the final 36. It was his fourth title on the PGA TOUR Champions and second this year. He won the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in July.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Langer said. “I mean it’s almost surreal to do three in a row … it’s difficult to put it all into words, how consistent it’s been, how good it’s been. In the end I'm incredibly pleased with the season that I've had. Never had a year when I didn't finish outside the top 13, never been this consistent. I've been known to be consistent but not this consistent.
“To come through with the goods when it really mattered today is very gratifying obviously. To shoot 6-under when you have to, it just still gives me hope that there's maybe a few more years left. It gives hope to all the guys that are in their 50s and maybe even in their 60s, right? I still think I can improve my golf game and I'm convinced of that. There's many in that boat that can do the same.”
Langer won the money title for the eighth time in nine years and posted a second $3 million season.
“He’s kind of the Tiger Woods of our tour when Tiger was good,” Bart Bryant said. “He may be more driven than anybody out here. That’s a big part of it. He’s always working hard. He’s very driven, he’s very talented.
“He never beats himself. Somehow he never seems to putt poorly. Sometimes we go through these bad putting things. His bad putting days are never really that bad. He’s a great ball striker and everything but he’s so consistent with that putter. He has good putting tournaments and great putting tournaments.”
Paul Goydos wins wire-to-wire at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship