2006: Langers master Father/Son again
Stefan Langer is only in high school, but he now has two victories against some pretty elite fields.
In a scene reminiscent of last year, Stefan Langer helped deliver the winning birdie on the final hole as the Langers held off last-ditch rallies to win the Del Webb Father/Son Challenge Dec. 3 for the second consecutive year.
This year, Bernhard and Stefan Langer held off Bob and Kevin Tway and Vijay and Qass Singh. Just as they did in 2005, the Langers closed with an 11-under 61 at ChampionsGate Golf Club and finished at 24-under 120 for a one-stroke victory, answering every challenge thrown at them down the stretch.
The Langers began the day with a share of the lead and opened with four birdies in a row in the scramble format. With the Tways (60) and Singhs (61) already in the clubhouse, the Langers needed a birdie on the par-5 18th to avoid a three-way playoff.
From the right rough, two-time Masters champion Bernhard knocked his second shot on the green, 80 feet from the cup. After a lag putt to 6 feet, 16-year-old Stefan putted first and rolled in the tournament winner.
He ought to be used to it. Last year, the Langers needed a birdie on the same hole and Stefan laced his 3-wood approach shot onto the green to set up an easy clinching birdie.
“It definitely was less nerve-wracking because we’ve been there before and knew how fun it was to win,” said Stefan, a high school sophomore in Boca Raton, Fla.
The Tways made a couple of runs, finally moving into a tie with the Langers after birdies on the three closing holes, but missed a crucial eagle putt from 15 feet on the 18th.
Bernhard Langer became the second father to win consecutive titles in the event. Alternating between his two boys, Ray Floyd won consecutive titles with both Robert (1995-97) and Ray Jr. (2000-01).
“If everything goes well, we should be in contention for years,” said Bernhard. “He’s going to get better, and hopefully, I won’t get a whole lot worse.”
Seemingly out of the mix, Vijay and Qass Singh nearly pulled a miracle when Qass, 16, rolled in an eagle putt at No. 16 to pull within a stroke of the lead. Vijay added an eagle on the 18th with a putt from 10 feet, but they came up one shot shy.
“It’s a big advantage to be in the last group,” Bernhard said, “Because you always know what you need to do.”
– Staff and wire reports