Virginia Golfer Sep / Oct 2017 - Page 24

Knocking off Langer looms as a much longer shot. McCarron, who is second on the money list, managed the trick last year by shoot- ing 13-under and defeating Tom Byrum in a playoff. Langer tied for sixth at minus-9. But Langer has had a spectacular season even by his record-shattering standards. At age 59—he turned 60 Aug. 27—Langer has won four times, including three majors, the Regions Tradition, KitchenAid Senior PGA and the Senior Open. Along the way, he surpassed Jack Nicklaus’ career mark of eight senior major titles. Langer has 10. He’s still not the oldest to win a senior major, though. That’s Tom Watson, who was nearly 62 when he won the 2011 Senior PGA. 22 “Winning 10 senior majors, it’s not easily done,” Langer said following his latest Senior Open victory (his third) in July at Royal Port- hcawl, Wales. “Very blessed and honored to have achieved that. Maybe there’s one or two more in the future, who knows?” Fans, rivals and tournament directors like Schoenfeld marvel at Langer’s con- sistency and staying power at the top of his game. “I’m in awe of what he’s doing,” Schoenfeld says. Since 2008, the World Golf Hall of Famer has won 33 senior tournaments, finished first in money eight times and been voted player of the year six times. He’s won mul- tiple events every year but 2011, when thumb surgery interrupted his season. V I R G I N I A G O L F E R | S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 17 In multiple interviews this season, Langer has attributed his remarkable physical and mental longevity to good health, meticulous eating and conditioning habits, competitive desire, calming reli- gious faith and his ability to decompress with family and hobbies away from golf. “I’ve been fortunate not having had any surgeries except my thumb,” Langer said in June before the U.S. Senior Open, where he tied for 18th. “And some guys just don’t have that drive; they’ve done it 40 years or whatever and they’d rather do other things. . . . That’s not me. When the time comes where I finish 20th and 30th every week and I don’t feel like I can win any- more, that may be the time to pack it up.” Beating The System