Ryder Cup

In Best Form of His Life, Bernhard Langer Takes a Swing at Golf History

Bernhard Langer at the final round of the 2014 U.S. Senior Open Championship in July. Source: Getty
Bernhard Langer at the final round of the 2014 U.S. Senior Open Championship in July.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Bernhard Langer, Germany’s best-known pro golfer, at age 56 has the chance to become the oldest player ever named to a Ryder Cup team.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • With 22 tournament victories since 2007, Mr. Langer is the most successful golfer ever on the seniors tour.
    • He has pocketed almost $15 million on the senior circuit, more than the $4 million he earned in 30 years in Europe and the United States.
    • Mr. Langer won the British Senior Open on July 27 by a record 13 strokes, sparking talk of his possible placement on Europe’s Ryder team.
  • Audio

    Audio

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There could be no greater praise from a defeated adversary.

“What Bernhard Langer showed here is one of the most outstanding performances in the history of the sport of golf,” enthused golfer Colin Montgomerie.

The Scotsman and his fellow players had just been outclassed at the British Senior Open in Porthcawl, Wales by the German golf legend.

Mr. Langer won the over-50 tournament on July 27 by a record 13 strokes, leaving his rivals in the dust.

“That was very unusual,” Mr. Langer said with his typical modesty. “Something like that doesn’t normally happen at such a top event.”

But instead of savoring his unique achievement, the 56-year-old hopped on a plane a day later to the United States to prepare for his next tournament.

Such meticulousness might be standard operating procedure for Mr. Langer, but he is in such good form at the moment that a discussion in Europe has broken out about a possible Ryder Cup team nomination. The popular tournament pits the best golf players from America and Europe against each other every two years.

“Bernhard is a great team player and I would seriously consider him if I were Paul McGinley,” said former Europe captain Tony Jacklin.

Ireland’s Mr. McGinley is the current head of European team for the upcoming Ryder Cup competition in Gleneagles, Scotland in September. While nine players will qualify based on their rankings on the European tour, Mr. McGinley is free to pick three other members of his team.

Teeing up history

If Mr. Langer is chosen, he would make history by becoming the oldest Ryder Cup player. It would also mean there would be two Germans representing Europe for the first time, since Martin Kaymer is considered a shoo-in after dominating the U.S. Open a few weeks ago.

“Now I know how it feels when he wins the U.S. Open by eight strokes,” said Mr. Langer.

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