Bernhard Langer took another step toward becoming the greatest senior golfer of all time on Sunday, beating Vijay Singh in what amounted to a one-on-one duel for the Senior PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club, Washington, D.C., in Sterling, Va., about 25 miles from the nation’s capital.
Langer pulled out a one-stroke victory at 18-under 270, winning his ninth PGA Tour Champions major title to surpass Jack Nicklaus for the senior major record Langer tied last week in successfully defending his title at the Regions Tradition in Alabama.
“It means a great deal to win two majors at age 59,” said the German, who has twice won the Masters and was in contention to win again in 2016.
“I’m not sure many people have done that. And to surpass Jack’s record of eight majors out here is pretty neat. I’m a good friend of Jack’s and I think very highly of him and whenever you can do something just similar or close to what he’s achieved, you’ve done something pretty special.”
Locked in a tight battle all day in the final pairing, Langer and Singh traded blows until Singh’s suspect putting caught up with him on the 71st hole. Singh three-putted, missing a par putt that gave Langer a two-shot cushion heading to the closing par 5, typically the 17th hole on Trump’s Championship Course. That was all the edge Langer needed to comfortably finish out the championship.
“If I would have putted nicely, this thing probably would have been over a long time ago,” Singh said. “But Bernhard played really solid, he never missed a shot and he was always on the green and he putted nicely as well, so he deserved to win.”
Not only did Langer pick up a record ninth senior major, he became the first player in PGA Tour Champions history to notch victories in all five recognized majors. Nicklaus never won the Senior British Open.
Langer said he fulfilled one of his important goals when joining PGA Tour Champions, and now he’s adding to his legend by continuing his dominance just shy of 60.
“My goal when I came on this tour was to be one of the better players,” he said. “One of the maybe top five, top 10 dominant players out here. And I think that I’ve achieved that.”
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