To most Masters viewers, it was surprising – shocking even – to see Bernhard Langer flirting with the lead last Sunday at Augusta National.
After he birdied his first three holes, he found himself within two shots. The possibility of the 55-year-old winning a third green jacket suddenly was becoming quite real.
The run stopped shortly thereafter, as he played his remaining holes at +7 and closed with a 76 to fade into a tie for 25th.
This week finds Langer back on the Champions Tour, where he’s playing the new Greater Gwinnett Championship, just outside of Atlanta. When the topic of his Masters performance arises, he states that he started the week with the intent to win.
“All week my goal was to be in contention and climb up the leaderboard and I was there for awhile and then it just turned the other way,” he had said after his disappointing closing round.
During a first-round rain delay at the Greater Gwinnett Championship, he reiterated in a Golf Channel interview that he arrived in Augusta, Ga., with the intent to win. Never mind the fact that he hadn’t made the cut since 2005.
But isn’t that why the great ones succeed? They have the ability to put disappointments in the past and focus on the potential for success ahead. For Langer, that optimism led him near the top of the leaderboard on a Masters Sunday.