2-time Masters champion stands at 3-under 141 through 36 holes, within the projected cutline for the weekend at Augusta National
The 36-hole cut at the Masters won’t be finalized until the second round wraps up early Saturday, but Bernhard Langer has assured himself of another place in tournament lore: oldest player to make the cut.
Langer, 63, a two-time Masters champion from Germany, shot 1-over 73 on Friday at Augusta National Golf Club for a 3-under 141 total through 36 holes. When the second round was suspended by darkness late Friday afternoon, Langer found himself six strokes behind the leaders: Americans Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, Mexico's Abraham Ancer and Australia's Cameron Smith. The cut line for the low 50 and ties in the 92-man field was projected to be even-par 144 (scores).
On a 7,475-yard golf course that is playing even longer because of thunderstorms early Thursday that saturated the grounds, Langer has averaged only 264 yards off the tee. He has had to play hybrids and even fairway woods on many approaches, yet has managed to his 21 of 36 greens in regulation. Accuracy – 25 of 28 fairways – has proved to be key in limiting the damage to four bogeys in the first 36 holes.
"I made a lot of hybrids and 3-woods into these par 4s," Langer said. "They're not designed for that, but I managed to get around."
Langer won the 1985 and 1993 Masters titles. He won only three times on the PGA Tour but added 40 more victories on his home European Tour. Since he turned 50, Langer has won 41 times on the Champions Tour, ranking second all-time.
Dating to 2006, Langer had missed the cut in eight of 12 starts at the Masters before this week.
Tommy Aaron, the 1973 Masters champion, was 63 years, 1 month and 16 days old when he qualified for weekend play at the 2000 Masters. Langer will be 63 years, 2 months and 18 days old on Saturday.
Though his scores might be showing little signs of age, Langer said that he feels it, especially when compared with the younger guys.
"It actually makes me feel older when I play with these young guys and I see how far they hit it and how short I hit it," he said. "It makes me feel older, not younger.
"I like this golf course. I think I know how to get around it, even though I hit very long clubs. But it's certainly not easy. It's a long hitter's place; always has been. I mean, why has Jack [Nicklaus] won six times and Tiger [Woods] five times? Because they were the longest players in their era. That's what this place has always catered to; let's put it that way."
Sign up to receive the Morning Read newsletter, along with Where To Golf Next and The Equipment Insider.