Bernhard Langer wins Boeing Classic
Give the man a broom — his Seattle Sweep is complete. Bernhard Langer, the "Steady Eddie" of the Champions Tour, shot a 3-under-par...
Special to The Times
SNOQUALMIE — Give the man a broom — his Seattle Sweep is complete.
Bernhard Langer, the "Steady Eddie" of the Champions Tour, shot a 3-under-par 69 on Sunday to win the Boeing Classic by three strokes and tie the tournament record with a three-round total of 198.
The month that began with Langer winning the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee ends with victory at the TPC at Snoqualmie Ridge.
"Maybe I should move here," Langer joked.
Langer played seven rounds in the two tournaments on courses 11 ½ miles apart and shot in the 60s each time.
"It must be the air here in Seattle," he said. "It also might be the greens — both courses have very good greens."
Langer required just 75 putts in winning the Boeing event, the fewest number on the over-50 circuit this year. He became the first Champions Tour player to win five events in one year since Craig Stadler in 2004.
Langer, 53, best known for winning the 1985 and 1993 Masters, said, "I think right now I'm playing as well as I've ever played."
Runner-up Nick Price said of Langer: "He's like a metronome out there" — and moved his arm back and forth with precision to emphasize the point.
This had become a two-man tournament Saturday between Langer, a native of Germany, and Price, from Zimbabwe, and Sunday there was never a lead change and only doses of suspense.
Price, who trailed by one stroke entering the day, bogeyed the third, fourth and fifth holes. That put him five strokes behind Langer, who hit a 135-yard pitching wedge to 8 inches to birdie the fourth hole.
Langer held a four-stroke lead at the turn, but things got interesting on No. 11 when Price rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt and Langer bogeyed.
Langer then rebuilt the margin to four strokes with birdies on No. 15 and No. 16.
Price birdied the difficult par-3 17th and made things interesting on the par-5 18th hole when his second shot stopped 7 feet from the pin. Langer, who had played defensively with a 3-iron off the tee, responded by almost sinking his third shot from 71 yards to erase all doubt about the outcome.
Price, who shot a 9-under 63 in the first round that was matched by Langer on Saturday, became the latest victim of the tournament's first-round jinx — no opening-round leader has won the event, which was first played in 2005.
The biggest draw was Seattle native Fred Couples, who shot a 5-under 67 to finish third at 207. He had shot himself out of contention on the back nine Saturday.
"The tournament was great," said Couples, who said he plans to play in it every year and will help recruit top players for it. He said it was "disappointing" not to win either tournament but fun to return to his hometown.
"To come back and play two weeks has been truly remarkable," he said. "This week was just as much fun as Sahalee."
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