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Bernhard Langer successful as ever in 51st year of professional golf

Bernhard Langer successful as ever in 51st year of professional golf

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Bernhard Langer has won 46 PGA Tour Champions events. The next closest active player is 28 behind.

He has six Charles Schwab Cups on his trophy shelf. No one else has more than two.

Did I mention that at 66, Langer is the oldest golfer in this week’s TimberTech Championship at the Old Course at Broken Sound? An age when many Americans are reaping the rewards of a successful career by sleeping in and checking out the early bird specials.

Especially those who live in South Florida.

But Bernhard Langer isn’t ready to spend his days sitting on the beach or floating in his pool, although he has taken up the one sport that has become a favored activity for the AARP crowd: pickleball.

“I love it,” he said. “My knees don’t love it, but I love it.”

So the man who has won golf tournaments on all six continents where the sport is played, one of five to do so, plans to continue earning those frequent-flyer miles.

“As I look at it, I have more time for golf now than I had 10, 20, 30 years ago,” Langer said Thursday. “I was busy with kids then, raising a family and being a father and a husband and all that. Now, the kids are gone. We’re empty nesters. We spend some time with the grandkids. But I have time to play golf. And I’m still pretty good at it. I still enjoy it.”

Pretty good? Langer, in his 51st year of professional golf, became the Tour Champions’ all-time wins leader at the U.S. Senior Open this summer, passing Hale Irwin with his 46th title. The man who has 122 professional wins and won $10.8 million in 326 starts on the PGA Tour has added $35.7 million in 338 events on the 50-and-older circuit.

That career also includes two Masters green jackets (1985, 1993), six Ryder Cups as a player and one as a captain.

Add Justin Leonard to long list of pro golfers who have moved to Palm Beach County area

Langer welcomes competition from Leonard, Furyk, Els, Couples

Langer was asked if the infusion of 50-year-olds, like Justin Leonard last year, and iconic names like Jim Furyk, Ernie Els and Fred Couples in the past five years, gives him that extra competitive boost.

“I don’t need an extra competitive boost,” he said from under his trademark visor. “It’s already there.”

Perhaps it comes from defeating Father Time. Langer is by no means the same man who became the first golfer to reach No. 1 in the world when the rankings were introduced in 1986. That is not possible.

The father of four children, who have…


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