Captain 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.
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)
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
|EUROPEAN TOUR INTERNATIONAL SCHEDULE VICTORIES: Total 42|
|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
|INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT VICTORIES: Total 3|
|1983||Casio World Open (Jpn)|
|1985||Australian Masters, Sea Pines Heritage Classic (USA)|
|OTHER TOURNAMENT VICTORIES: Total 19|
|1975||German National Open Championship|
|1977||German National Open Championship|
|1979||German National Open Championship|
|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)|
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|
|1981||Harry Vardon Trophy, AGW Trophy|
|1984||Harry Vardon Trophy|
|1985||European Tour Golfer of the Year|
|1993||AGW Trophy, European Tour Golfer of the Year|
|2002||Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame|
- Europe Secure Ryder Cup After Singles Success
- EUROPE WIN THE RYDER CUP
- All the Drama from the Final Afternoon
- Europe Take Record Lead into Singles
- Langer's men set for singles showdown
Check out our exclusive video collection of the greatest moments in Ryder Cup history.
Today's Memorable Moment: September 1969- In a memorable display of sportsmanship, Jack Nicklaus concedes ... more
Everything you need to know about attending the Ryder Cup Matches is right here in the spectator guide.
Take a hole-by-hole tour of Oakland Hills Country Club, site of the 35th Ryder Cup Matches.
Nearly eighty years ago, English seed merchant and entrepreneur Samuel Ryder founded the Ryder Cup. Learn how it all began.