How Fred Couples, Bernhard Langer continue contending at Masters past age 60

0
10

Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer have been playing at the Masters for decades, and they’ve each donned a green jacket at least once. Few will know Augusta National Golf Club better than Couples and Langher when the 2020 Masters tees off.

Both past 60 years of age, Couples and Langher are far from likely to win the 2020 tournament, but as recently as 2016, Langher entered Sunday at the Masters in the second-to-last group. Both veterans are still consistent contenders on the senior tour and are good enough golfers to surprise. And no matter how they play, they’ll surely invoke nostalgia for past eras of great golf.

Here’s a look at how Couples and Langher have aged gracefully as golfers, along with how they’ve performed at the Masters along the way.

MORE: Breaking down Tiger Woods’ history at the Masters

How old is Fred Couples?

Couples is 61 years old. His first PGA Tour victory came back in 1983, and he’s been a professional since 1980. Couples was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2013.

In the early-2000s, Couples took a baseball to the face while playing a game of catch with his caddie, permanently altering his vision. It could’ve put an end to his golf career, but he’s continued on for nearly two decades since, proving he can win on the senior Champions Tour. 

Couples has also dealt with back pain, something that’s not ideal while walking the golf course or bending down to put in a tee or place a ball marker on the green.

“With my back I’m just happy that I’m even playing a little at this point,” Couples told Golf World in 2019. 

Because of his back issues, Couples plays single-digit events per year, but the Masters is one of them. He doesn’t practice as much anymore, but he finished 20th or better at the Masters six times while in his 50s, so maybe he’ll just conjure up a little more magic at the 2020 Masters, too.

Fred Couples’ history at the Masters

Couples has played in the Masters 34 times in his PGA Tour career, prior to the 2020 event. These are his results:

  • Cuts made: 30
  • Top-25: 7
  • Top-10: 11
  • Top-5: 5
  • Third: 1
  • Second: 1
  • Win: 1

Couples won the Masters in 1992. It’s his only major championship win on the PGA Tour. He finished two strokes ahead of Raymond Floyd. Couples shot a 13-under par 275 to win. 

How old is Bernhard Langer?

Langer is 63 years old. The German turned professional in Europe in 1972, when he was just 15. His first European Tour win came in 1980, and he won for the first time on the PGA Tour in 1985. Langher was elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2001.

The best insight we have on Langher’s maintaining strong play into his 50s and 60s comes from an interview he did with Golf World in 2017. Langher said he’s worked out all his life, and that he makes sure to stretch twice a day.

“I feel the effects of aging,” Langher told Golf World. “I have aches and pains. There are things I can’t do. If I played soccer I would get hurt. If I play tennis for an hour or two, I hurt. But in golf, I can practice and play and not hurt.”

Langher has worked with one particular coach, Willy Hoffman, since he was 16. One of the keys to Langher’s game is simply avoiding errors. With sound mechanics and a smart approach, he can do that. 

Golf World also spoke with Jack Nicklaus about Langher in 2017, and Nicklaus summed Langher up this way: “He just doesn’t make a lot of mistakes on the golf course. He hits the ball long enough and he’s a good iron player and he just plugs along and shoots his 67 or 68 and that seems to be pretty good when you add up three or four of them.”

Bernhard Langer’s history at the Masters

Langher has played in the Masters 36 times in his PGA Tour career, prior to the 2020 event. These are his results:

  • Cuts made: 26
  • Top-25: 15
  • Top-10: 9
  • Top-5: 3
  • Wins: 2

Two of Langher’s three wins on the PGA Tour (as opposed to his 42 on the European Tour) came at Augusta National Golf Club. The first came in 1985. Langher entered the final round two strokes back, but thanks in part to birdies on four of the last seven holes, Langer finished a champion at 6 under, two shots clear of Seve Ballesteros, Raymond Floyd and Curtis Strange. Then at the 1993 Masters, Langer took a multiple shot lead into Sunday and couldn’t be caught. He finished at 11-under par, four clear of Chip Beck.


Credit: Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here