BOCA RATON, Florida – Bernhard Langer’s eagle Saturday on the par-5 18th gave him a one-shot lead going into the final round on Sunday, and he never relinquished that top spot. Although Marco Dawson, Bob Estes, and David Toms tried to apply the pressure, Langer quickly showed them and the rest of the field that the Oasis Championship belonged to him.
With five birdies on the first seven holes on The Old Course at Broken Sound and a final-round 65, Langer cruised to a five-shot victory with a tournament-record 19-under 197 in front of record crowds that frequently applauded the 61-year-old Bavarian native’s superior shot making.
“It was an amazing start, one of my best starts ever,” Langer said. “In these conditions, as windy as it was today, it was very, very good. I made the putts I had to make. I didn’t put myself into any great trouble.”
It was Langer’s 39th career PGA TOUR Champions win—six shy of Hale Irwin’s record—and the $255,000 first prize moved Langer with $27,196,504 in career earnings past Irwin’s $27,120,554 as this tour’s all-time leader.
Marco Dawson birdied the last two holes to finish second at 14-under 202, with Estes next at 203 and Toms fourth at 204
“It was kind of deflating, really,” Toms said. “When you start two shots back, you get off to a good start and then all of a sudden you’re four shots back not very far into the round. You see what he’s doing, and you see how he played on this golf course today in these conditions. That stuff competes on the PGA TOUR, in my opinion. It’s unfortunate that he’s not playing out there, that we have to try and beat him.”
Langer may live 10 minutes from Broken Sound, but he basically owns the Oasis Championship. In 12 starts at Broken Sound, he has two wins, two seconds, two thirds, eight top-10s and has earned $1.2 million.
Langer became the first repeat winner in the event’s 13-year history and shattered the previous largest margin of victory of two shots (three times). He made only one bogey all week, on the 17th hole Saturday—and then followed with that eagle on the next hole to take the lead for good.
He got to share the victory with his daughter, Jackie. It was the third time she caddied for him, and it was their first win together.
“She relaxes me,” Langer said. “You know the three ‘up’ rules for the caddie: Show up, keep up and shut up. She’s good at two of them – she likes to talk. I have a lot of things to celebrate. It means a great deal to win in front of your family and friends. Winning at home is always special.”
“I enjoy the time I get to spend with my dad,” said Jackie, who is married and goes by Langer John. “We have a blast together.”
For the second consecutive year the Oasis Championship produced a feel-good moment for the winner-caddie. Last year, Mark Calcavecchia won for the first time on the Champions with his wife Brenda on the bag.
So, once again, the Oasis Championship winner was a family affair.
Another well-known family name—Nicklaus—also added to the distinction of the Oasis. Gary Nicklaus, who turned 50 on January 15, finished T51 in his Champions debut. He said that he learned, once again, something that he already knew.
“I need to putt better,” he said. “But I’ve been saying that my whole career. These guys are really good putters.”
Nicklaus needed 94 putts to get around The Old Course’s greens the three days. He opened with a 5-under 67 to stand T11 after the first round but closed with scores of 77 and 73.
Jack was in the gallery all three days.
(All photography by Scott Halleran.)
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