Any small doubt that Bernhard Langer couldn’t regain his throne as the King of the PGA Tour Champions was blown away after his victory at last weekend’s Oasis Championship. Langer, who lives 10 minutes from the golf course, won the event by five strokes as the 4/1 favorite.
Not only did Langer win, he set a tournament record at 19 under par. He shot an opening round 64 to be one stroke behind Jesper Parnevik, then took the lead in the second round and never gave it back.
It was his first victory of the year in his second event. Last year it took him nine tournaments to get his first win, and he only had two the entire year, his lowest since 2015.
“The key to success is a lot of things,” Langer said. “You’ve got to be healthy, otherwise you can’t play, and a lot of guys at age 61 aren’t healthy anymore. They had this operation or that operation or a knee replacement or a hip replacement or whatever it may be. So I’ve been fortunate enough not to have any major surgeries so far besides my thumb in 2011, so that’s key.”
He won his 39th event, only six less than all-time leader Hale Irwin’s 45, and he did surpass Irwin in all-time career earnings with $27,196,504.
“There’s many things to celebrate,” Langer said. “It means a great deal to win in front of your home crowd, your family, your friends. Winning at home is always extremely special, no doubt about it. It made it more special having my first win with my daughter Jackie, who’s only caddied three times for me.”
Worth the Wait for Mickelson
It took an extra day, but Phil Mickelson wasn’t complaining. Neither were those holding tickets on the 48-year-old. He was a nice 22/1 to win the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and captured his fifth victory there on Monday. Rain and hail on Sunday forced the suspension of the event. Mickelson had a three-shot lead with two holes to play, and finished it off the following day.
“It’s a lot more work and effort to play at this level,” Mickelson said. “And I have believed for some time that if I play at my best, it will be good enough to win tournaments. The challenge is getting myself to play my best.”
Englishman Paul Casey entered the weekend in the lead and was at 6/1 after the third round, but for the fourth time he failed to win when holding the 54-hole lead.
In all four of those events he shot 71 or worse. In the final round at Pebble Beach he posted a 71 to Mickelson’s 65.
Johnson Big Favorite at Genesis Open
Despite finishing tied for 45th at Pebble Beach, and only having one round in the 60s, Dustin Johnson is the 9/1 choice at Bovada and 8/1 pick at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook to win this week’s Genesis Open. Justin Thomas is next at 12/1 at both places.
The PGA Tour Champions Chubb Classic has Steve Stricker and Bernhard Langer as the favorites at 9/2.
The Westgate is also offering odds on the LPGA’s Handa Women’s Australian Open. Ariya Jutanugarin is the top pick at 5/1.
This Week’s Picks
At the Genesis we like Bubba Watson, who has won at Riviera three times. He is also at 20/1.
With Stricker and Langer the favorites, we are going to pass on them, and instead take a longshot in Scott McCarron, who is at 14/1.