Bernhard Langer hoping to continue making history at Chubb Classic
Bernhard Langer has already amazed the golfing world with an extended run of success unmatched on the PGA Tour Champions.
And he doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon.
“I believe I have a few more wins in me,” Langer said.
With 44 career victories on the senior circuit, the 65-year-old needs just one to tie Hale Irwin’s mark. Considering Langer’s won at least two Champions tournaments in 10 consecutive seasons, it’s likely only a matter of time before the record changes hands.
It also wouldn’t be much of a stretch to circle next month’s Chubb Classic as a likely setting for Langer to make history. He’s won the Naples, Florida, event a record four times at three different courses, including last year’s wire-to-wire victory at Tiburon Golf Club’s Black Course, which also allowed Langer, then 64, to break his own mark for the oldest tour champion. He did so again in November after turning 65 when he captured the TimberTech Championship in Boca Raton.
While the prospect of unseating Irwin atop the all-time victory list is “very much on the radar screen now,” Langer said he doesn’t feel any additional pressure being on the precipice of achieving that goal.
“I just try to be the best I can be and play the best golf every day that I can,” he said. “…Deep down, I think I know I can still win tournaments, even though there’s a lot of younger guys.”
Langer said when he first joined the Champions tour, he regularly finished among the top 10 in driving distance; last year he was 63rd. Now he tries to make up for that shortcoming with accuracy, putting, and course strategy, strengths that give him an advantage at a venue like Tiburón’s Black Course, which Langer said is one of the tightest on the Champions Tour.
“Tiburon is not a golf course necessarily for the big bombers that spray it around because if you hit it offline you’re going to be in the jungle and you’re going to take a penalty drop,” Langer said.
Langer opened the 2023 Champions season at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii. Tied for fourth place entering the final round, he ran into trouble on the 5th hole after hitting a shot into the water and finished tied for 10th.
“Top 10 is not bad but I’m always hoping for better,” he said.
Langer will play next at the Trophy Hassan II, set for Feb. 9-11 in Morocco, giving him one opportunity to tie Irwin’s record before the Chubb Classic.
A longtime resident of Boca Raton, Langer said playing at the Chubb feels like a home game for him, one that he can drive to and have family and friends on hand to support him.
“There you usually play on wonderful golf courses at a good time of the year and the field is always strong as well,” he said. “When you win there, you know you’ve beaten the best.”
As for the future, Langer said as long as he’s healthy, has fun playing, and can remain competitive, he’ll remain a full-time participant on the Champions tour.
“As long as those three things are there, I’m going to probably continue,” he said. “If one or two of those have gone missing, then it’s probably time to pack it up.”