Bernhard Langer takes Oasis title
Playing 10 minutes from residence, smokes Oasis field
Finished at a tournament-record 19-under, winning by 5 strokes.
BOCA RATON — With his daughter as his caddie, a favorite Bible verse in his pocket and playing on his home course, there was no stopping Bernhard Langer on Sunday.
Langer ran away with the Oasis Championship title at The Old Course at Broken Sound, which is a brief 10-minute drive from his Boca Raton residence, with a 7-under final round that had him finish with a tournament-record 19-under 197 overall, five shots ahead of the field.
“It means a great deal to win in front of your home crowd, your family, your friends,” said Langer. “Winning at home is always extremely special.”
Langer, the German who also won in 2010, is the first two-time champion of the Oasis, the PGA Tour Champions event which last year went by Boca Raton Championship and was previously known as Allianz Championship since its inception in 2007.
With the $255,000 in top prize money, Langer passes Hale Irwin for No. 1 on the tour’s all-time money list, now earning a
career total of $27,196,504. Langer’s 39th Champions title puts him six behind Irwin’s record, 45.
Langer’s front nine augmented the lead he entered Sunday with after capping his second round with an eagle on the 18th hole Saturday. Marco Dawson would finish second at 14-under, and Bob Estes was third at 13-under. The fiveshot margin of victory shattered the tournament’s previous high of two.
Entering Sunday with a one-stroke advantage, Langer birdied five of his first seven holes in the final round to first increase his lead to five strokes. He would hold on from there.
“It was an amazing start,” Langer said. “One of my best starts ever, honestly. In these conditions, as windy as it was today, it was really, really good. I was really pleased with how my short game held up.”
With only one bogey throughout his three rounds, he did it all weekend with his daughter, Jackie, by his side as his caddie.
“It’s always fun to be on the bag. Wish I could do it more often,” said Jackie Langer, who won for the first time as Bernhard’s caddie. “I try to keep things light, light-hearted, tell some jokes, but more so just keeping him loose and not too anxious.”
Said Bernhard: “She certainly provided the three basic rules of a caddie: Show up, keep up, shut up. She was perfect at those three — the shut up didn’t quite work as well, so I should say she was good at two. She likes to talk, but she just relaxes me.”
Langer also had Jackie as his caddie last year at the tournament when he finished second to Mark Calcavecchia, one of two previous times she has caddied for him.
A Bible verse, Phillippians 4:6-7, he had written on a piece of paper in his pocket also inspired him.
“It speaks to me personally but also as a golfer, because it starts off saying, ‘Do not be anxious,’ ” Langer said. “I think we’re all anxious, especially playing under the pressure we are in windy conditions against great opponents on a tough golf course.”
David Toms placed fourth with a 12-under three-day total. A three-way tie for fifth followed, with Scott McCarron, Gene Sauers and Woody Austin all 11-under.
Gary Nicklaus, the son of golf legend and 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus, wrapped up his PGA Tour Champions debut and first event since his return to professional golf on Sunday.
Gary Nicklaus finished 1-over at the end of his three rounds after carding a 1-over 73 on Sunday. He shot 5-under on Friday, but a 5-over Saturday put him back even after his first two rounds.
“First day was really nice to get out on a good start, kind of showed myself and everybody else that, hey, I can still get out there,” said Nicklaus, who last played professionally in 2003 and spent the past 11 years golfing as an amateur. “I got one good round in, one halfway, one bad. So next time out, hopefully I’ll get two good rounds in and then eventually get three good rounds.”
Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke shot a 7-under 65 on Sunday to match Langer for the top final round. He finished tied for 10th with a 9-under over the weekend.
Corey Pavin and Tom Pernice Jr. each were 6-under on Sunday to jump up the standings into ties for 10th and 14th, respectively.
Bernhard Langer of Germany shows off his trophy after winning the Oasis Championship at The Old Course at Broken Sound.
Bernhard Langer plays his shot from the sixth tee during the final round of the Oasis Championship on Sunday in Boca Raton. Langer won the tournament by five strokes.