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Retirement is Just a Word, Not an Option, for Langer

Bernhard Langer
Bernhard Langer at the 2017 Masters is showing no signs of slowing down. (Photo credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA – Sixty is a good age to retire, isn’t it? Three score years and all that? Time for a rocking chair, an extra glass of wine, more time with the grandchildren. That fits the life plans of many golfers – do well on the regular tour, reap the rich pecuniary rewards of a few years on the senior tour and then call it a day.

That might indeed be the plan for some but it’s not for Bernhard Langer, who will be 60 in August and who has dominated the PGA Tour Champions since turning 50 in 2007. Mention the word retirement to him and he smiles because retirement is one of the subjects that is far from his mind at present. Why would it not be? He retains a trim figure, an admirable work ethic and a balance in his life and a skill to play the game that many men half his age would envy.

Then you consider this year’s wave of new recruits to the senior tour, men such as José María Olazábal, twice a Masters champion, Steve Stricker, David Toms, PGA champion in 2001, and John Daly, the 1991 PGA and 1995 Open champion, who turned 50 last year. Do you really want to take them on, Langer is asked?

“This year’s rookies may be exceptional but I am not too worried,” said Langer, who is in the Players field this week as the reigning Constellation Senior Players Championship winner. “I’ve got to play my own game and be concerned about what I can do, and if I can do it well then I can still compete. If I don’t do it well no matter how good the rookies are somebody is going to beat me.

“We talk about retirement from time to time, but I still enjoy what I’m doing. I love competing and I have a balance in my life where I play events and have other things that make me eager and hungry to come back. There are no obvious signs for me to retire at this point. I’ve just had probably the best year of my life as a golfer in terms of consistency and performance. So unless my health goes south in a hurry I don’t see any reason to retire.”

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