After playing in six continents, and winning a record 11 senior major championships, 62-year-old Bernhard Langer is still up for trying something new.
“I’ve been around the world, seen a lot of golf courses, a lot of tournaments, seen a lot of different cultures, but I hadn’t been to Sioux Falls yet,” said Langer.
Even if it’s playing in his first ever golf tournament in South Dakota.
“I think they expect anywhere from 60 to 100,000 people which is very exciting to play in front of large crowds. And it’s great that the community embraces tournament golf and comes out to see some of the best legends or players over 50 that are alive and competing at a very high level,” said Langer.
As Steve Stricker won’t be defending his Sanford International title, that opens the doors to plenty of new competitors this year, including Langer, who enters as one of the most decorated golfers.
“There’s a lot of things, but I’ve been very blessed to have been this successful over the last 12 years since I've joined the PGA Tour Champions. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle, you’ve got to be healthy, you’ve got to have a good swing, a good technique, mentally strong, the drive to compete and being able to compete under pressure, and on and on it goes,” said Langer.
Despite being a two-time Master’s champion, Langer still wants to play out the course that he will be competing in leading up to the Sanford International.
“I want to play a practice round on a golf course that I have never seen before, where I just spend quite a bit of time making my own charts and my notes. Have a good look at every single shot on every hole, where to put it, where not to put it, and spend a little bit of time of the greens getting to know those,” said Langer.
Langer is one of the game’s greatest. He had won more senior major championships than Jack Nicklaus, but it’s his passion that keeps him swinging. He says he couldn’t picture his life any other way.
“I just love the game, I enjoy playing golf, and enjoy competing against the best. I’m fairly good at it, so what else is there to do? Golf is a great game, if I wouldn’t be playing as a professional. I would probably still play for times a week just for fun,” said Langer.
The Sanford International begins on Friday at Minnehaha Country Club and runs through Sunday afternoon.