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Captain Bernhard Langer

Bernhard Langer

Bernhard Langer's leadership qualities never have been in doubt. Yet his modesty is such that long before he realised he would rather like to be European Ryder Cup Captain, most aficionados of the game knew that here was, perhaps, the perfect skipper.

That he has been handed this vital role sooner rather than later is further, and eloquent, testimony to the German's unique standing within a professional circuit that can judge a man harshly at times. Put simply, Langer is the professionals' professional.

"Bernhard leaves very little to chance and even the bit he does will have been carefully analysed at some point," said his long-time friend and former caddie Pete Coleman. "I have never known him not be focused and ready for whatever he is doing, wherever he is playing. He expects others to work as hard as he does but he is an instinctively fair man."

Coleman's own back carries the scars of Langer's commitment to a work ethic that might bring a donkey to its knees prematurely, for it is he who had to bear the weight not just of his employer's expectations, but of the 17 golf clubs Bernhard frequently required him to haul over 18 holes of a practice round.

Eventually he will decide on 'this' driver and 'that' putter but not before he is convinced the right choice has been made. "I don't see the point in doing anything unless you try to do it the very best that you can," said Langer. "We are very fortunate to be able to play this game for a living and I am always aware of this good fortune."

Working hard, staying focused and doing the right thing comes easily to Langer, however, for it is the way he was brought up in the village of Anhausen, a short train journey from Munich.

Bernhard Langer

His father was a bricklayer, his mother a waitress, and his brother Erwin was caddieing at the local club as soon as he could. By eight years of age Bernhard, too, had caught the golfing bug.

Every day he would cycle five miles to Augsburg Golf Club where his talent for the game was first unearthed. It was here that he studied a faded sepia magazine clipping of a Jack Nicklaus instruction session, and where he earned his first few Deutschmarks.

It was a tough but loving upbringing that made Langer the man he is today. His desire for perfection is still vivid and it is this which fuels his ambition to an extent that, although now approaching middle-age, he is still comfortably within the top 100 on the Official World Golf Ranking. Two Masters Tournament victories (in 1985 and 1993) are the highlights of a CV which includes 42 European Tour titles.

Deeply religious, he lists his priorities in life as "God, then my family and then golf." It is a pecking order that reflects a man of rare judgement, sensitivity and decency, but one which should not disguise the steel within this civilised exterior.

What happens at Oakland Hills Country Club under his Captaincy remains to be seen, but be certain of one thing: if Europe win The 35th Ryder Cup Matches, Langer's eye for even the smallest detail will have played a vital part.

"I remember as a little boy, pressing my face against the sweet shop window and wishing I could go inside and buy some," he said. Now, here he is with the keys to the biggest 'sweet shop' in the game. Don't be surprised if his charges fill their pockets.

  • Full Name: Bernhard Langer
  • Residence: Anhausen, Germany; (US: Boca Raton, Florida)
  • Birthdate: 27.8.57; Anhausen, Germany
  • Height/Weight: 5ft 8in 11st 7lb (173cm 73kgs)
  • Family: Wife: Vikki (m.1984); Children: Jackie (1986), Stefan (1990), Christina (1993), Jason (2000)
  • Interests: All sports
  • Turned Professional: 1976

Ryder Cup History

Appearances: 1981, 83, 85 (winners), 87 (winners), 89, 91, 93, 95 (winners), 97 (winners), 02 (winners), 04 (Captain)

RECORD Played Won Lost Halved
Overall 42 21 15 6
Singles 10 4 3 3
Foursomes 18 11 6 1
Fourball 14 6 6 2

Ryder Cup Playing Record

Day 1 Foursomes Langer/Piñero lost to Trevino/Nelson (1 hole)
Day 1 Fourball Langer/Piñero beat Floyd/Irwin (2 and 1)
Day 2 Foursomes Langer/Piero lost to Nicklaus/Watson (3 and 2)
Final Day Singles Langer halved Lietzke (halved)
Day 1 Foursomes Langer/Faldo beat Wadkins/Stadler (4 and 2)
Day 1 Fourball Langer/Faldo lost to Watson/Haas (2 and 1)
Day 2 Foursomes Langer/Faldo beat Crenshaw/Peete (4 and 2)
Day 2 Fourball Langer/Faldo beat Kite/Floyd (3 and 2)
Final Day Singles Langer beat Morgan (2 holes)
Day 1 Foursomes Langer/Faldo lost to Peete/Kite (3 and 2)
Day 1 Fourball Langer/Cañizares halved Stadler/Sutton (halved)
Day 2 Foursomes Langer/Lyle halved Stadler/Strange (halved)
Day 2 Fourball Langer/Brown beat Floyd/Wadkins (3 and 2)
Final Day Singles Langer beat Sutton (5 and 4)
Day 1 Foursomes Langer/Brown lost to Sutton/Pohl (2 and 1)
Day 1 Fourball Langer/Lyle beat Calcavecchia/Bean (1 hole)
Day 2 Foursomes Langer/Lyle beat Wadkins/Nelson (2 and 1)
Day 2 Fourball Langer/Lyle beat Wadkins/Nelson (1 hole)
Final Day Singles Langer halved Nelson (halved)
Day 1 Foursomes Langer/Rafferty lost to Calcavecchia/Green (2 and 1)
Day 2 Fourball Langer/Cañizares lost to Kite/McCumber (2 and 1)
Final Day Singles Langer lost to Beck (3 and 1)
Day 1 Foursomes Langer/James lost to Couples/Floyd (2 and 1)
Day 2 Fourball Langer/Montgomerie beat Pavin/Pate (2 and 1)
Final Day Singles Langer halved Irwin (halved)
Day 1 Foursomes Langer/Woosnam beat Azinger/Stewart (7 and 5)
Day 1 Fourball Langer/Lane lost to Wadkins/Pavin (4 and 2)
Day 2 Foursomes Langer/Woosnam beat Couples/Azinger (2 and 1)
Final Day Singles Langer lost to Kite (5 and 3)
Day 1 Foursomes Langer/Johansson beat Crenshaw/Strange (1 hole)
Day 1 Fourball Langer/Johansson lost to Mickelson/Pavin (6 and 4)
Day 2 Foursomes Langer/Gilford beat Pavin/Lehman (4 and 3)
Day 2 Fourball Langer/Faldo lost to Pavin/Roberts (1 hole)
Final Day Singles Langer lost to Pavin (3 and 2)
Day 1 Foursomes Langer/Montgomerie lost to Woods/O'Meara (3 and 2)
Day 1 Fourball Langer/Montgomerie lost to Woods/O'Meara (5 and 3)
Day 2 Foursomes Langer/Montgomerie beat Janzen/Furyk (1 hole)
Final Day Singles Langer beat Faxon (2 and 1)
Day 1 Foursomes Langer/Montgomerie halved Mickelson/Toms (halved)
Day 1 Fourball Langer/Montgomerie beat Hoch/Furyk (4 and 3)
Day 2 Foursomes Langer/Montgomerie beat Verplank/Hoch (1 hole)
Final Day Singles Langer beat Sutton (4 and 3)

European Tour Achievements

Events Played: 413
In Money: 361
Top Ten Finishes: 167
Official Career Earnings: €11,192,027
*Honorary member of the European Tour

1980 Dunlop Masters
1981 German Open, Bob Hope British Classic
1982 Lufthansa German Open (play-off)
1983 Italian Open (play-off), Glasgow Golf Classic, St Mellion Timeshare TPC
1984 Peugeot French Open, KLM Dutch Open, Carrolls Irish Open, Benson and Hedges Spanish Open
1985 Masters Tournament, Lufthansa German Open, Panasonic European Open
1986 German Open (play-off), Trophée Lancôme (tied) (play-off)
1987 Whyte and Mackay PGA Championship, Carrolls Irish Open
1988 Epson Grand Prix
1989 Peugeot Open de España, German Masters
1990 Cepsa Madrid Open, Austrian Open (play-off)
1991 Benson and Hedges International Open, Mercedes German Masters (play-off)
1992 Heineken Dutch Open (play-off), Honda Open
1993 Masters Tournament, Volvo PGA Championship, Volvo German Open
1994 Murphy's Irish Open, Volvo Masters Andalucia
1995 Volvo PGA Championship, Deutsche Bank Open - TPC of Europe, Smurfit European Open (play-off)
1997 Conte of Florence Italian Open, Benson and Hedges International Open, Chemapol Trophy Czech Open, Linde German Masters
2001 The TNT Open (play-off), Linde German Masters
2002 Volvo Masters Andalucia (tied) (play-off)

Other World-Wide Victories

1983Casio World Open (Jpn)
1985Australian Masters, Sea Pines Heritage Classic (USA)
1975 German National Open Championship
1977 German National Open Championship
1979 German National Open Championship
1980 Colombian Open
1983 Johnnie Walker Tournament
1984 German National Open Championship
1985 German National Open Championship, Million Dollar Challenge (Sun City)
1986 German National Open Championship
1987 German National Open Championship
1988 German National Open Championship
1989 German National Open Championship
1990 German National Open Championship
1991 German National Open Championship, Hong Kong Open, Sun City Million Dollar Challenge
1992 German National Open Championship
1996 Alfred Dunhill Masters (Hong Kong)
1997 Argentinian Masters

Teams And Awards

Ryder Cup 1981, 83, 85 (winners), 87 (winners), 89, 91, 93, 95 (winners), 97 (winners), 02 (winners), 04 (Captain)
Alfred Dunhill Cup 1992, 94, 2000
World Cup 1976, 77, 78, 79, 80, 90 (winners), 91, 92, 93 (individual winner), 94, 96
4 Tours World 1985 (Captain), 86 (Captain), 87 (Captain), 89 (Captain), 90 Championship
Hennessy Cognac Cup 1976, 78, 80, 82 (Captain)
The Seve Trophy 2000 (winners)
UBS Cup 2001, 02
1981Harry Vardon Trophy, AGW Trophy
1984Harry Vardon Trophy
1985European Tour Golfer of the Year
1993AGW Trophy, European Tour Golfer of the Year
2002Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame
2004 Team Europe Sponsors
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