NEWPORT BEACH — Bernhard Langer has seen some of his peers go from the Champions Tour to the
The two-time Masters champion (1985, 1993) also enjoys the Champions Tour for golfers 50 and older. Who could blame him? He has been ruling the tour for the last three years.
Last year, Langer, a native of Germany, became the first player on the Champions Tour to win the
He is the meister of this tour. That's German for champion.
Langer will attempt to maintain his momentum at the 17th
"Some guys still enjoy playing out there" on the PGA Tour, said Langer, who won at Newport Beach in 2008. "Some still think they need to prove something out there. I have been done there, done that, moving on. I'm very happy with this tour."
As he should be. Langer is coming off a big win Feb. 20 in the ACE Group Classic at Naples, Fla. He shot 20-under-par 196 — a tournament record — and picked up his first win of the year and his 14th on the Champions Tour. He is no stranger to winning, with more than 90 titles on different tours worldwide.
"[My] game is in pretty decent shape," Langer said. "We had two weeks off, so you never know. But I seem to be hitting the ball all right … I'm looking forward to this. It looks like we're going to have a great week of wonderful weather and conditions, a pretty strong field. We should have a great champion this week."
Couples returns to defend his title, and he is coming off a strong showing last month in the PGA Tour's
It's the same
"I'm sure people are tired of hearing about it," he said.
But since he played at Riviera Country Club, the back has only gotten worse, Couples said.
"But I can swing a club," he said. "So I won't do this very long. If I come out here [Friday] or Saturday or Sunday and feel like this, someone is going to have to tell me why I would want to do this."
Couples will go to Texas after this tournament to try to figure out what is wrong with his back. He said he loves the Newport Beach course. That's one reason he wants to play here, and it's a reason for most on the Champions Tour. The par-71 course is a short one, 6,591 yards, the second-shortest on the Champions Tour.