BERNHARD LANGER has shot a tournament record 20 under total to win the ACE Group Classic on the US Champions Tour in Naples, Florida.
Australia’s Peter Senior shot rounds of 69, 69, 68 to finish tied for 12th on 10 under. His final round included four birdies.
Langer held a four stroke lead going into the final round and finished with a 6 under par 66.
“It’s always exciting winning,” said Langer, who earned his 14th Champions Tour win.
“It never gets old no matter where or how big the tournament, whether it’s a major or not. Winning is what we’re out here for, what I practice for.”
Fred Funk got within two after Langer bogeyed No. 11, but Langer came right back with birdies on Nos. 12 and 14. He finished with a 5-footer for birdie on No. 18.
Funk had a chance to make the final hole a little interesting, but missed a short birdie putt on No. 17 and finished with a 66 for a 16-under total.
“I just couldn’t get them in the hole from there,” he said. “I gave myself some opportunities. I thought if I could’ve kept the heat on him and made a few more of those putts, but Bernhard played great.”
Nick Price (66) and Russ Cochran (67) tied for third, another shot back. Mark Calcavecchia (68) was fifth at 14 under.
Langer, a three-time Champions Tour Player of the Year, won after what had been a slow start to the year. He finished tied for 16th and 17th in the season’s first two full-field events.
Unhappy with those two finishes, Langer practiced hard this week. He came in with a new driver, even longer putter and three sets of irons to try. He called swing coach Willie Hoffman almost every day and was even worried he may have worked too hard.
“I was pretty tired, but I knew I had to work on my game extremely hard to sort out what clubs to use, what putter to use,” he said. “It all came together at the right time.”