On my way to Sahalee this morning, I was listening to KJR Sports Radio in Seattle. I liked and agreed with most of what the guys had to say, except one thing — the radio dude said Bernhard Langer wasn’t responsive to fans and didn’t show much personality. That’s what he appears to be like, but he’s actually quite eccentric and interactive on the course. It’s surprising since he talks in this robotic German accent (it’s great) and plays in a deliberate manner.
The first time I ever watched him play in person was on Thursday and he won me over by, like, the fourth hole. He scrambled from the trees and sank a really long putt for birdie from the fringe. The crowd gave him a Freddie-like cheer. He held a fist pump for a few seconds and turned around to the gallery with his “I’m a German machine” expression (which includes a smile). The best was when he did a lunge.
So in honor of Langer winning the US Senior Open (and the Senior British), here’s a compilation of his various awesome and eccentric reactions in pictures. Enjoy! (Click on images to enlarge.)
I couldn’t find a great picture of his visor toss on the 72nd hole. But it was a sweet flip. I’m surprised he didn’t do cartwheels, but it would have come across as over-celebrating in front of Fred Couples’ home crowd. My favorite is probably the kick thing in the top photo. At least at this tournament. Langer and Tom Lehman’s awkward attempt at some sort of chest bump is an all-time classic, though.
He’s not loud or overbearing, but I’d hear him joke with the crowd. He just does it differently and it’s awesome. I guess I love his quirkiness.
Again, congrats to a much-deserved champion and a legend!
[Photos by John Mummert and Steve Robbins/USGA]