Bernhard Langer described by peers in five words or less
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Written by Bob McClellan @ChampionsTour
Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw and German golfer Bernhard Langer never met.
But ’twas Shaw who perhaps captured the essence of Langer best when he wrote: “We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
By any definition, Langer is old. He’s 64 now.
But he sure as hell hasn’t stopped playing. With each win he posts on PGA TOUR Champions, his most recent of which came Sunday at the Chubb Classic in Naples, Florida, he bests his own record as the oldest player to win. His chase of Hale Irwin’s all-time PGA TOUR Champions victory total (45) has come clearly into focus, with Langer notching No. 43.
In this space more than five years ago, a journalist of some renown compared Langer to Benjamin Button. The article was posted on Nov. 3, 2016. Langer had turned 59 that August. All he has done since is win 14 more tournaments.
With a lack of new ways to describe his brilliance, several past and present PGA TOUR Champions players received a text on Monday asking them to “explain Langer in five words or less.” Here is how they responded, in no particular order:
Steve Stricker: “Methodical, determined, hard-working, great guy.”
Jay Haas: “He’s like water … relentless.”
Mike Weir: “Proof of other life forms.”
Kirk Triplett: “You will not beat me.”
Jeff Sluman: “Dogged in pursuit of perfection.”
Scott Parel: “Amazing, dedicated, motivated, God-loving athlete!”
Mark Calcavecchia: “At his age, incredibly inspiring.”
Tom Gillis: “Committed.”
Lee Janzen: “Consistent, steady, focused, inspiring, determined.”
Jerry Kelly: “He’s my golfing-god friend.”
Doug Barron: “Focused, determined, unbelievably humble champion.”
Mark O’Meara: “Incredible. Focused. Driven. Determined. Disciplined.”
Fred Funk: “I will break you!”
Brett Quigley: “Age means nothing.”
Kevin Sutherland: “Everything done with a purpose.”
Gene Sauers: “Defies all odds and logic.”
Scott McCarron: “Legen … wait for it … dary!”
Steve Flesch: “The Ageless Terminator.”
Shane Bertsch: “Durable. Resilient. Repetitive. Incredible. Awesome!”
Alex Cejka: "Like Schwarzenegger, but the Germanator!"
Langer had indicated in December that he might play less than he had during the 2020-21 elongated season in which he played in all 39 events and won his sixth Charles Schwab Cup. The 2022 season encompasses 28 events, and Langer said he anticipated playing anywhere from 18 to 25.
With a win this early and thus sitting in second in the Schwab Cup standings, bank on that number being closer to the latter. As he has shown, no one wants or hunts the cup more than Langer.