BOCA RATON, Fla. — Bernhard Langer beat his age by two shots Saturday with a 9-under 63, giving him a one-shot lead over Paul Goydos in the TimberTech Championship and a chance to move closer to the PGA Tour Champions record for career wins.
Langer opened with three straight birdies, came one turn away from another and then holed a bunker shot on the par-3 fifth at Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club.
It was clear early on that this might be a special day.
“I was thinking, ‘Well, this may be another day when you shoot your age,'” Langer said. “But it’s still early days and there’s a lot of golf left. But it kept going. And then I thought about it on 17. ‘Heck, you’re 8 under, let’s see if you can get one or two more.'”
He got one more birdie to reach 11-under 133.
Goydos did well to stick with the 65-year-old Langer, holing out for eagle on the par-4 16th and closing with a birdie on the par-5 18th for a 66.
It was the sixth time in his career that Langer, a two-time Masters champion, has shot his age or lower on the PGA Tour Champions and the fourth time this season.
What matters is winning, and Langer is in the pole position. A victory Sunday would be his 44th on the PGA Tour Champions. Hale Irwin holds the record with 45 senior titles.
Langer, who won the Charles Schwab Cup last year for the sixth time, picked up his 43rd career win at the start of the season in the Chubb Classic.
He is still a long shot to win another Schwab Cup at No. 7 in the standings.
Steven Alker of New Zealand leads the points race by such a big margin that he could have wrapped up the $1 million prize with a victory this week. He shot a 68 and was five shots behind going into the final day.
The leading 36 players advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship next week in Phoenix.