Bernhard Langer: Masters Champ, Senior Tour Legend

Golfer Bernhard Langer during practice for the 1995 Ryder Cup
Golfer Bernhard Langer, pictured in 1995. Simon Bruty/Getty Images

Bernhard Langer is a 2-time Masters champion who was part of a contingent of European golfers in the 1980s who helped revitalize the Ryder Cup. Once he turned 50, he became one of the best Champions Tour golfers ever.

Fast Facts: Bernhard Langer

  • Occupation: Professional golfer
  • Born: August 27, 1957 in Anhausen, Bavaria, West Germany
  • Key Accomplishments: Two-time winner of The Masters; achieved No. 1 ranking in the Official World Golf Ranking; winner of nearly 40 Champions Tour tournaments.
  • Spouse: Vikki Carol (married 1984)
  • Children: Jackie, Stefan, Christina and Jason
  • Quote: Of his course management style, Langer said, "Be decisive. A wrong decision is generally less disastrous than indecision."
  • Fun Fact: Langer is the all-time leader in wins in senior majors with 10.

Langer's Professional Wins

Most of Langer's victories prior to turning 50 happened on the European Tour, where he piled up 42 wins (second only to Seve Ballestero's 50). On the U.S. PGA Tour, Langer won three times. After joining the Champions Tour (for 50-and-over golfers), Langer has 39 wins. (These wins are listed below.)

Two of Langer's wins happened in The Masters, first in 1985 and the second in 1993.

Awards and Honors for Bernhard Langer

  • Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
  • European Tour money leader, 1981, 1984
  • European Tour player of the year, 1985, 1993
  • Member, European Ryder Cup team, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2002
  • Captain, European Ryder Cup team, 2004
  • Champions Tour money leader, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Champions Tour player of the year, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018
  • Champions Tour scoring leader, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016

Bernhard Langer Biography

Bernhard Langer is by far the greatest golfer ever to emerge from Germany. He is known for his dedication to the game, his work ethic and his deliberate pace of play, and for his battle with the putting yips.

Langer's early childhood was marred by several serious illnesses; in fact, twice before age 5, Langer's life was considered in jeopardy. He was introduced to golf at age 8 when his brother started working as a caddie. Langer took up caddying himself, then got hooked on playing. It wasn't long until he was winning big junior tournaments.

And it wasn't long after that that Langer turned pro. In fact, Langer turned pro at age 15 in 1972. Just two years later he won his first professional tournament, the 1974 German National Open Championship. He won the German National again in 1977 and 1979. Over the years, Langer went on to win the German National a total of 13 times.

Langer started playing on the European Tour in 1976, but his Euro Tour career was interruped by 18 months in the German Air Force. He earned his first tour win at the 1980 Dunlop Masters. From that point on, and despite frequent battles with the yips, Langer was among the best players in Europe and among the better players in the world.

He led the European Tour money list twice in the first half of the 1980s, won 42 European Tour tournaments (second only to Seve Ballesteros) and two Green Jackets as Masters champion. (See Page 2 for Langer's wins.)

Langer is perhaps best known for his Ryder Cup experiences. Along with Ballesteros and Nick Faldo, Langer helped revitalize European fortunes in the Ryder Cup.

He played for the European side 10 times, winning 24 points over the years. But it is a half-point Langer didn't win that he is most-remembered for: At the 1991 Ryder Cup - the famous "War by the Shore" - Langer missed a 6-foot putt on the final hole of the final match against Hale Irwin, halving the match and allowing the U.S. to retain the Cup.

In 2004, Langer served a highly successful stint as European captain, leading his squad to its biggest win ever over the U.S.

He joined the Champions Tour after turning 50 late in 2007, and won that year's Administaff Small Business Classic. And won many more following, enough to earn Player of the Year honors in 2008 through 2010, and again in 2014. In 2010, Langer won five times including the British and U.S. senior opens. He added a third senior major in 2014 when he won the Senior British Open by a senior-major-record 13 strokes.

The senior wins and senior majors kept coming as Langer inched into his later 50, so many that we have him ranked very high on the list of Top 10 Players of All-Time on the Champions Tour. By the time of his victory in the 2017 Regions Tradition, at age 59, Langer tied Jack Nicklaus for most senior major wins ever with eight. In the very next major, the Senior PGA Championship, Langer won again to claim the record all to himself. And at the 2017 Senior British Open, Langer became the first golfer with double-digit wins in senior majors.

Bernhard Langer was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2002.

Trivia Tidbits

  • When the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) debuted in April 1986, the very first No. 1-ranked golfer in the rankings' history was Bernhard Langer. (See the original Top 10.)
  • Langer is the all-time leader in wins in senior majors with 10.
  • When Langer won the 2017 Senior PGA Championship, he became the first golfer in Champions Tour history to have victories in all five of the senior majors.

List of Langer's Pro Tour Wins

Here are golfer Bernhard Langer's wins on the PGA Tour, European Tour and Champions Tour over the course of his career.

PGA Tour

  • 1985 Masters
  • 1985 Sea Pines Heritage
  • 1993 Masters

European Tour

  • 1980 Dunlop Masters
  • 1981 German Open
  • 1981 Bob Hope British Classic
  • 1982 Lufthansa German Open
  • 1983 Italian Open
  • 1983 Glasgow Golf Classic
  • 1983 St. Mellion Timeshare TPC
  • 1984 Peugeot Open de France
  • 1984 KLM Dutch Open
  • 1984 Carroll's Irish Open
  • 1984 Benson & Hedges Spanish Open
  • 1985 Masters Tournament
  • 1985 Lufthansa German Open
  • 1985 Panasonic European Open
  • 1986 German Open
  • 1986 Lancome Trophy
  • 1987 Whyte & Mackay PGA Championship
  • 1987 Carroll's Irish Open
  • 1988 Epson Grand Prix of Europe
  • 1989 Peugeot Spanish Open
  • 1989 German Masters
  • 1990 Cepsa Madrid Open
  • 1990 Austrian Open
  • 1991 Benson & Hedges International Open
  • 1991 Mercedes German Masters
  • 1992 Heineken Dutch Open
  • 1992 Honda Open
  • 1993 Masters Tournament
  • 1993 Volvo PGA Championship
  • 1993 Volvo German Open
  • 1994 Murphy's Irish Open
  • 1994 Volvo Masters
  • 1995 Volvo PGA Championship
  • 1995 Deutsche Bank Open TPC of Europe
  • 1995 Smurfit European Open
  • 1997 Conte Of Florence Italian Open
  • 1997 Benson & Hedges International Open
  • 1997 Chemapol Trophy Czech Open
  • 1997 Linde German Masters
  • 2001 The TNT Open
  • 2001 Linde German Masters
  • 2002 Volvo Masters Andalucia

Champions Tour

  • 2007 Administaff Small Business Classic
  • 2008 Toshiba Classic
  • 2008 Ginn Championship Hammock Beach Resort
  • 2008 Administaff Small Business Classic
  • 2009 Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai
  • 2009 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf (with Tom Lehman)
  • 2009 Triton Financial Classic
  • 2009 3M Championship
  • 2010 Allianz Championship
  • 2010 Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am
  • 2010 The Senior Open Championship
  • 2010 U.S. Senior Open
  • 2010 Boeing Classic
  • 2011 The ACE Group Classic
  • 2012 3M Championship
  • 2012 SAS Championship
  • 2013 ACE Group Classic
  • 2013 Greater Gwinnett Championship
  • 2014 Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai
  • 2014 Insperity Invitational
  • 2014 Constellation Senior Players Championship
  • 2014 The Senior Open Championship
  • 2014 Dick's Sporting Goods Open
  • 2015 Constellation Senior Players Championship
  • 2015 San Antonio Championship
  • 2016 Chubb Classic
  • 2016 Regions Tradition
  • 2016 Senior Players Championship
  • 2016 Boeing Classic
  • 2017 Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai
  • 2017 Regions Tradition
  • 2017 Regions PGA Championship
  • 2017 Senior British Open
  • 2017 Dominion Energy Charity Classic
  • 2017 PowerShares QQQ Championship
  • 2018 Insperity Invitational
  • 2018 SAS Championship
  • 2019 Oasis Championship