CHAMP: Bernhard Langer runs away with TimberTech title
Bernhard Langer shot a final-round 66 to win the TimberTech Championship by six strokes on Sunday in Boca Raton, Fla., moving one victory away from tying the PGA Tour Champions’ all-time record.
The 65-year-old German beat his age Saturday with a 9-under 63 — a course record at Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club — to grab the lead. Nobody could keep up Sunday as he holed six birdies without a bogey to cruise to a final score of 17-under 199.
Langer broke his own record for the oldest player to win any PGA Tour-sanctioned event. It was his 44th win on the 50-and-older circuit, putting Hale Irwin’s record of 45 titles in reach.
“I’m not sure there is a secret,” Langer said of his longevity. “A lot of things have to come together. You’ve got to be healthy, hungry, willing to work, have a good support system, a great caddie and good coach, many, many other things. As I said, the willingness to put in the hours, because many people when they get to 50, 60, they’re going to say, well, I’ve had a good career and I’m going to take it a little easy and all that. You can’t do that out here, there’s too many good players.”
It marked Langer’s third career victory at the TimberTech, in his adopted hometown of Boca Raton.
“It’s always awesome to win anywhere in the world,” Langer said, “but to win in your hometown in front of family, friends is that much more meaningful and special because I have a lot of supporters out there and it’s great just to be at home, sleep in your own bed, get some home cooking. We travel all year all over the place, so it’s very nice to have a tournament at home.”
Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand (67 Sunday) and Paul Goydos (71) tied for second at 11-under 205. Irishman Padraig Harrington posted a final-round 67 and took fourth at 10 under.
Goydos started the day one shot behind Langer and birdied his first and third holes to keep pace. But a double bogey at the par-3 fifth hole set him back, and he managed just one birdie the rest of the way.
“You’d like to finish better, but, you know, we kind of knew that Langer, you have to challenge him, you have to kind of go get him, you have to kind of push him, you have to kind of do those things,” Goydos said.
“I get that Thongchai played well and Harrington did, but they were so far back, they never — they were putting pressure on me, not putting pressure on Bernhard. So it was kind of up to me to put pressure on him and I never did.”
Attention now turns to next week’s season finale, the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.
New Zealand’s Steven Alker had a slight chance of locking up the Schwab Cup this week. He shot a 71 Sunday and tied for sixth at the TimberTech with Sweden’s Robert Karlsson (67) at 7 under. But Harrington, in second place, kept his faint hopes alive by finishing ahead of Alker.
“I gained on him, that’s all I could ask for,” Harrington said. “Obviously I have to win next week, there’s no choice there. … So I have to win — I have no choice but to win, and he’s got a few more scenarios that work out well for him. At least I kept it going.”
–Field Level Media