Young star Matt Wolff at the door is no match for old master Bernhard Langer – who becomes the oldest player ever to make the cut at the Masters as he lies three under at the half-way stage
- Bernhard Langer, 63, isthe oldest player ever to make the cut at the Masters
- The German is sitting a three-under at the half-way stage after Friday’s golf
- Langer is still hitting the ball in the same way as he did in the prime of his career
- At the other end of the spectrum, Matt Wolff is playing just his third ever major
The first Masters I ever covered was Bernhard Langer’s maiden victory in 1985, and while it’s probably some sort of feat that we’re both still here and still standing —particularly this year — it is fair to say his achievement is infinitely more laudable.
Back in the day, it seemed a small Masters miracle in itself that a man who had overcome two bouts of the yips by the age of 25 could win round Augusta without a single three-putt, but it might be dwarfed by the fact he is here for the weekend at the grand age of 63 — the oldest player ever to make the cut at the Masters.
In fact, the German who is fast redefining the meaning of the word indefatigable has played all four rounds at every Masters since he turned 60 in August 2017, which is borderline ridiculous given the length of this place and what he has to overcome.
Veteran Bernhard Langer, 63, is set to become the oldest player to make the cut at the Masters
The two-time Masters winner sits at three under after another successful day in Georgia
This is becoming some sort of annual ‘how does he do it?’ routine, as Langer takes us back to yesteryear and the days when one of the game’s most inestimable values was strategy.
Quite honestly, Augusta with soft fairways making them play twice as wide and greens like dartboards with no wind is no test at all for the best players in the world.
The man to watch yesterday morning if you value old- fashioned qualities was the one hitting hybrid woods for his approach shots to reach no fewer than five par-fours as well as the par-three fourth.
He couldn’t reach any of the par-fives in two, although he did get within putting distance of the green at the second, having threaded a three wood through a space the size of a football goal.
Langer has played in all four rounds at the Augusta National ever since he turned 60 in 2017
What an education it proved to be, as Langer finished up his first round yesterday morning and his 125th competitive round in all at the Masters with a notable landmark. A birdie at the eighth followed by a par at the ninth meant a wondrous 68.
It was Langer’s lowest opening round since 1993, when he also shot 68 and went on to claim his second green jacket. From Europe, only Paul Casey and Justin Rose shot lower first-round scores.
It has to be said, not much has changed with Langer in 35 years. He still looks the same weight and, thanks to his own fanatical fitness, stretching and diet regimen, he still hits the ball roughly the same distance as he did in 1985.
While he is fast these days when he stands over the ball, you could still buy a car in less time than it takes him to make his pre-shot calculations.
Langer (above) still hits the ball in the same way as he did in his maiden Masters win in 1985
Then there’s his game management, which was always admirable and has now become a thing of beauty. Mind you, it needs to be.
Teeing off at almost the same time on the other side of the golf course was Matt Wolff, playing in just his third major after finishing fourth and runner-up in his first two.
The brilliant 21-year-old American who would outdrive him by 70 or 80 yards was actually born on the 14th anniversary of Langer’s first Masters win.
At the other end of the spectrum, 21-year-old Matt Wolff (above) is playing just his third major
Heck, Langer had won 39 times on the European Tour before Wolff let out his first cry.
It wasn’t the man taking a break from his decade-long, Tiger-like domination of the Champions Tour who faded, though. It was Wolff, four under at the start of play, who fell back into the pack.
You would think Langer would have felt some fatigue having to go straight back out but he never looks like he is feeling tired.
True, there were moments when the second round looked like getting away from him but he always came up with a putt when he needed it, a birdie when it mattered, including at the 15th and 17th.
It was looking like the lowest halfway cut in Masters history but Langer safely made it, after a second round 73 left him just outside the top 25. The man really is a living Masters marvel.
Share this article
Source: Read Full Article