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.

Date of birth: Aug. 27, 1957
Place of birth: Anhausen, Germany

Tour Victories:

  • PGA Tour: 3
  • European Tour: 42
  • Champions Tour: 36

Major Championships:

2

  • 1985 Masters
  • 1993 Masters

Awards and Honors for Bernhard Langer

  • 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
  • Champions Tour scoring leader, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016

Bernhard Langer Trivia

  • 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.

Quote, Unquote

  • Langer, on golf course decision-making: "Be decisive. A wrong decision is generally less disastrous than indecision."

    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.

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

    PGA Tour Wins

    1985 Masters
    1985 Sea Pines Heritage
    1993 Masters

    European Tour Wins

    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 Wins

    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