Looked for all intents and purposes like Bernhard Langer was on his way to victory No. 37 on the Champions Tour Sunday in Boca.
Langer started the final 18 holes at the Boca Raton Classic just two shots behind overnight leader Mark Calcavecchia and by the time the pair reached the dangerous 16th hole, Langer was just a shot behind Calc.
It was there at the 200-yard par three with water fronting the green that Calc looked like he’d blown the tournament. His tee shot found the water. “I chunked it,” Calc later admitted.
With Calcavecchia in the water, Langer was safely on the green with a good look at birdie from 21 feet. Calc’s third shot finished just inside him, about 20 feet away. It looked like there would be a two, possibly three-shot swing.
Langer missed then Calc, the former Florida Gator, poured his in for a huge bogey. “Bernhard’s was on the same line as mine,” Calcavecchia said. “I knew what it was going to do.”
That putt for Calc turned out to be huge. It kept Langer from taking the lead and the two were all square at 16-under heading into the final two holes.
At 17 from a perfect spot in the fairway, Langer fanned his second and short-sided himself in a greenside bunker while Calc hit the green from the right rough. Calc two-putted then watched Langer line up his par putt from inside three feet. He missed.
Langer looked totally shaken by the miss, his chances for the win took at tumble. At 18, still rattled, he hit a drive that leaked right and found a poor lie in the pine bark. He would end up with a bogey-bogey finish and Calc had his first win since 2015.
“I just didn’t think it would happen again,” Calcavecchia said afterward, his emotions showing. “The level of play out here is incredible. I didn’t expect Bernhard to miss that putt (at 17). I can’t tell you how happy I am.”
CHARLIE RYMER SHOOT 87, FINISHES DEAD LAST:
Charlie Rymer should probably keep his day job on The Golf Channel.
Rymer made his Champions Tour debut this past week in Boca Raton and it didn’t go too well.
He started out great in the first round Friday, he went birdie-birdie to get things going. But things went downhill really fast and after shooting 75-77 for the first two days, Sunday was a complete and utter disaster.
Rymer went out in 42, came home in 47, looking like an 18-handicapper. His final 18 holes — 87 shots. That means he played his last 52 holes 25-over par.
The former Georgia Tech golfer finished 23-over par — 239 — 39 shots behind the winner. He finished dead last in the field of 77.
Sorry ’bout that Charlie.