CHAMPIONS
Langer Once Again Tops on PGA Tour Champions November 14, 2016 By David Shefter and Scott Lipsky, USGA

Bernhard Langer captured the PGA Tour Champions' Charles Schwab Cup for the third consecutive season. (USGA/Fred Vuich)

At an age in which many golfers start to decline, Bernhard Langer continues to thrive.

The 59-year-old German garnered his third consecutive – and fourth overall – Charles Schwab Cup on Sunday, collecting the $1 million annuity in the process. While the 2010 U.S. Senior Open champion finished two strokes behind champion Paul Goydos in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship at Desert Mountain Club’s Cochise Course in Scottsdale, Ariz., Langer managed to hold off 2014 U.S. Senior Open champion Colin Montgomerie in the season-long points chase.

This is the first year the PGA Tour Champions conducted a three-event playoff series to determine the Charles Schwab Cup.

Langer fired a final-round 64 on the par-70 layout to surge past Montgomerie, who started Sunday’s final round two strokes ahead of Langer. Had Montgomerie finished solo second and Langer third, there would have been a playoff to determine the Charles Schwab Cup. Montgomerie, however, closed with a 68 to finish in third at 11-under 199. Goydos shot 66 for a 54-hole total of 15-under 195.

Two weeks ago, Langer was forced to withdraw from the Charles Schwab Cup playoff opener, the PowerShares QQQ at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., with a left knee injury, but he returned last week in Richmond, Va., and was plenty healthy this past weekend in Arizona to win the title.

Langer finished the 2016 season with four victories and never finished worse than 13th in 21 starts. He tied for 11th with Montgomerie and Tom Lehman in the U.S. Senior Open in August at Scioto Country Club in Columbus, Ohio.

“It’s incredible,” Langer said. “Finishing all the tournaments throughout the year in the top 13, it’s extremely tough to do. So it’s difficult to put into words how consistent it’s been, but very blessed, very fortunate.”

Finals Bound

The last three second-stage qualifying school tournaments for the 2017 Web.com Tour were conducted last week and 2003 U.S. Amateur champion Nick Flanagan, of Australia, barely advanced by tying for 18th at Southern Hills Plantation Club in Brooksville, Fla. Flanagan, who defeated Casey Wittenberg in 37 holes to win the 2003 Amateur at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club, closed with a 68 to finish on the qualifying number of 6-under 282.

Oliver Goss, the 2013 U.S. Amateur runner-up, and 2009 USA Walker Cup Team competitor Drew Weaver, finished second and third, respectively, in the qualifier at the TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas. Goss finished at 21-under 267 with Weaver one stroke back.

Past USGA champions who failed to advance included 2012 U.S. Amateur champion Steven Fox, 1999 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion Hunter Haas, 1997 U.S. Junior Amateur champion Jason Allred and 2012 APL champion T.J. Vogel.

The final stage of qualifying school is Dec. 8-11 at Orange County National in Winter Garden, Fla.

Things Looking Up for Chez

It’s early in the 2016-17 PGA Tour season, and 2001 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion Chez Reavie is looking to build on his momentum from a bounce-back 2015-16 campaign. Reavie, who turned 35 on Saturday, fired weekend rounds of 63-67 to jump up the leader board in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and finish tied for fourth, four strokes behind winner Pat Perez.

The performance marked Reavie’s third top-25 finish in four starts since the Tour’s wraparound schedule began last month. Reavie won the 2008 RBC Canadian Open and finished 10th in the FedEx Cup standings in 2011, but wrist surgery in early 2014 caused him to miss virtually all of that year, and he made just eight cuts on Tour the following season. The Wichita, Kan., native looked to regain much of his form during the season that concluded in September, finishing 81st in the standings and notching seven top-25 finishes.

Reavie defeated Danny Green in 38 holes at Pecan Valley Golf Club in San Antonio, Texas, to claim the 2001 Amateur Public Links title.

Signed and Sealed

Two USGA champions officially signed their national letters of intent this week to play Division I college golf. Philip Barbaree, of Shreveport, La., the 2015 U.S. Junior Amateur champion, signed with Louisiana State University, a school he had been committed to for several years. Mika Liu, of Beverly Hills, Calif., the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball co-champion with partner Rinko Mitsunaga, signed with Stanford University. Liu also was a member of the 2016 USA Curtis Cup Team.

David Shefter is a senior staff writer for the USGA. Email him at dshefter@usga.org. Scott Lipsky is the manager of websites & digital platforms for the USGA. Email him at slipsky@usga.org.