Newsmaker of the Year: No. 8, Bernhard Langer

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 7, 2017, 1:00 pm

Here’s a scary thought for the rest of the PGA Tour Champions: Bernhard Langer is getting … better?

Shrugging off any concerns that his legendary career was over following the anchoring ban, the ageless German won a personal-best seven events in 2017 to set his sights on the all-time senior wins record. 

Whether it’s Steve Stricker or Jerry Kelly, David Toms or Davis Love III, every year features a new crop of PGA Tour vets who are supposed to take the senior circuit by storm. And yet no one can top Langer, even at age 60.

Across 22 events he won three majors, top-tenned 16 times and banked nearly $3.68 million, making a mockery of the PGA Tour Champions’ “playoff” system in which he somehow finished second.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Of course, all of that success breeds competitive jealousy, which is how Langer found himself in the news so often in 2017.

Many predicted that the 2016 anchoring ban would lead to Langer’s demise, but the man who has overcome the putting yips wasn’t fazed by this transition, either. Using the same broomhandle putter, he moved the end slightly away from his sternum and led the senior tour in putting.

Was it hard work that kept Langer at the top of the statistics for the sixth consecutive year, or something more sinister? Players gossiped and slow-motion replays showed that Langer’s left hand was still uncomfortably close to his chest, and so Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee went on air, called the anchor-ban enforcement “appalling” and suggested that both Langer and fellow longtime anchorer Scott McCarron (who ranked second in putting) were playing fast and loose with the rules, even though both were cleared of any wrongdoing by the USGA.

The criticism stung Langer – he repeatedly defended his actions and expressed disappointment that his integrity was called into question – but, as always, he has moved forward. Now only 10 wins from surpassing Hale Irwin as the most prolific senior champion of all time, he will continue wielding the long putter better than anyone, critics be damned.

Langer's place in senior golf history

Article: Langer cruises to 10th senior major title

Article: Langer passes Nicklaus with back-to-back majors

Article: Player: Langer only equal to my senior major total

Langer's loss prompts Schwab questions

Article: Langer fails to win Schwab Cup despite seven-win season

Langer: Champions playoffs weren't meant to be fair

Shackelford on Langer’s playoff loss: ‘That’s ridiculous!’

Early-year anchoring controversy

Article: Langer: Jealousy plays a role in anchoring criticism


Chamblee calls anchor ban enforcement 'appalling'


Langer, McCarron, USGA respond to Chamblee criticism

Continued putting prowess

Chamblee: 'Langer is putting better than anybody ever has'


Langer re-enacts putt to win PowerShares QQQ title


Better than he's ever been?

Video: Chamblee: 'Langer is better than he was 10 years ago'

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

Getty Images

Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.