New year of senior majors. Same Bernhard Langer.
Now 59, the German overcame a two-shot deficit heading into the final round of the Regions Tradition to win by five on 20-under-par and also match Jack Nicklaus’ haul of eight Champions Tour majors.
“Yeah, that's pretty neat,” he said. “Not many people can say they match Jack Nicklaus in anything. To have won as many majors on this tour as he has is outstanding and it’s a thrill for me.
“I'm still way behind on the (PGA TOUR), though, in majors.”
In a win that only strengthens his position at the top of the Schwab Cup standings, Langer’s eight-under-par 64 final round was the lowest of anyone in the field all week and left overnight leader Fred Funk – who triple-bogeyed the 12th to fall out of contention – in awe of his fellow competitor.
“Well, it was a close battle, but I hit it out of bounds so it was all over for me at that point,” said 60-year-old Funk, who was seeking his first individual title since 2012.
“He makes birdie, I make seven. I'm one back, now I'm way back so it's all over. I never hit it out of bounds even on the tightest holes. That hole, I don't know what happened. It was just a weird deal."
This is Langer's first comeback victory in a major championship. In his seven previous victories, he was a 54-hole leader all seven times.
And now with 31 career Champions Tour wins, he is in second place in the all-time rankings and now 14 behind Hale Irwin’s total of 45.
Colin Montgomerie finished T25 in the tournament on seven-under-par, some 13 shots behind Langer after a closing round of level par.