Bernhard Langer is 58 years old and tied for third entering the final round of the Masters.
Langer thinks that’s pretty cool.
“Well, (winning) would be one for the old guys,” said Langer, who shot a 2-under 70 Saturday and is two strokes behind leader Jordan Spieth. “Sooner or later, it’s going to happen. One of the over-50s is going to win a major. We have guys right now, Davis Love, Vijay Singh, Fred Couples, these guys are still long enough to compete on any golf course.
“The guys are staying fit. They are more athletes. They are taking care of themselves. We see it amongst the young guys, but as they get older they are going to be in better shape. And it’s just a matter of time.”
Never miss a local story.
Born in 1957, Langer is from another generation of golfers. He is 26 years older than Spieth, who is 18 holes away from his second green jacket. There is also a difference of 30 years in age and about 40 yards off the tee between Langer and world No. 1 Jason Day, 28, who was Langer’s playing partner Saturday.
... When I bring my ‘A’ game, I can still compete, and even on a very long golf course like this.
Langer was asked after his round if he and Day were playing a different game due to their difference in length.
“Yeah, we are,” Langer said, smiling. “But the scorecard doesn’t show it always. There’s different ways of getting there, and obviously it’s a lot easier for these young guys, hitting a lot less club into some of the greens. And they can stop the ball, while mine sometimes release.
“But when I play really, really good, when I bring my ‘A’ game, I can still compete, and even on a very long golf course like this.”
Langer shot a 2-under 70 and is two shots behind leader Jordan Spieth
One of the highlights of Langer’s Saturday round was the 14th hole, where he chipped in for birdie. Day, who had a 71 and is tied for fifth, three behind Spieth, also made about a 70-foot birdie putt on the 14th.
“I can’t think about his age; he’s a force to be reckoned with,” Spieth said of Langer. “He’s an amazing competitor who is capable of winning this tournament. If find it hard to say it’s surprising (where he is).”
Langer won his first Masters in 1985. The next year he was helping Jack Nicklaus put on the green jacket. Langer won again in 1993, maintaining a stretch during which he was among the world’s top golfers.
26 Years difference in age between Langer and Spieth
He has since moved to the Champions Tour, but has also continued to play well at Augusta, where he finished tied for fourth as recently as 2014. He is making his way around Augusta National this week using a long (but not anchored) putter against golfers half his age.
“The game of golf, it’s a little different,” Langer said. “We’re not playing tennis or soccer or football, where it all comes down to speed and strength. Golf is a lot more about knowing yourself and technique. Just thinking your way around the golf course and then execution.
“I’m probably 40, 50 yards behind some of these big hitters, maybe sometimes only 30, but that’s a lot to give up. But there’s still other ways of doing it. If you hit it exactly where you want to hit it, you can still shoot under par, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”