PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – PGA TOUR Champions announced Bernhard Langer as the recipient of the 2016 Jack Nicklaus Award, given annually to the Player of the Year. The World Golf Hall of Fame member recorded four victories in 2016 – including two major championships – as well as four runner-up finishes on his way to claiming a record fourth Charles Schwab Cup title.
“I’m thrilled to be voted by my peers as the Player of the Year,” said Langer, who won the vote over fellow nominees Colin Montgomerie, Scott McCarron, Woody Austin and Paul Goydos. “To earn the Jack Nicklaus Award six times is an incredible honor. The level of competition on PGA TOUR Champions is outstanding, and each year I’ve had to improve areas of my game in order to win consistently.”
After claiming the Charles Schwab Cup title in 2010, 2014 and 2015, Langer entered 2016 with the hope of securing a fourth Cup as PGA TOUR Champions unveiled the inaugural Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs – a season-ending, three-tournament Playoff series used to determine the season-long champion.
The two-time Masters champion won the Chubb Classic in February before claiming the Regions Tradition title in May for his sixth career senior major title. Langer notched his second major of the year at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship in June, then added career win No. 29 at August’s Boeing Classic to tie Lee Trevino for second place on the Tour’s all-time victories list. The two players sit 16 wins back of all-time leader Hale Irwin.
Langer, 59, posted two top-10 finishes in the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs to hold off Montgomerie for the season-long title.
“Bernhard’s 2016 campaign on PGA TOUR Champions was arguably his most impressive to date, and I am honored to officially name him as our Player of the Year,” said PGA TOUR Champions President Greg McLaughlin. “His level of play exceeded even his own lofty expectations, and continued to set a high bar for both our current and future players.”
Langer nearly recorded top-10 finishes in each of the five major championships for a third consecutive year, but missed out by the slightest of margins after posting a T11 finish at The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex.
On the season, he posted 18 top-10s in 21 starts, with a T13 at the American Family Insurance Championship serving as his worst finish. The mark of 18 tied his career-high on PGA TOUR Champions, set in 2013 and matched in 2014.
Arnold Palmer Award: Langer won the Arnold Palmer Award as PGA TOUR Champions leading money winner for a record eighth time. Langer also won the award in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. He has now surpassed $3 million in season earnings twice in the last three seasons, and the $2 million mark eight times in 10 career seasons since joining PGA TOUR Champions.
Byron Nelson Award: With a Tour-best 68.31 scoring average for the year, Langer earned the Byron Nelson Award for the fifth time in his career, tying Don January for the Tour’s all-time mark. He also claimed the Award in 2008, 2009, 2014 and 2015. Langer notched 57 of 65 rounds under par during 2016, posting a season-low 10-under 62 during the opening round of the Chubb Classic. By season’s end, he recorded 27 rounds of 67 or better.
Rookie of the Year: Similar to the Player of the Year, the Rookie of the Year Award is voted on by the players, with Paul Broadhurst claiming the 2016 edition in a vote over Brandt Jobe and Glen Day. The Englishman posted two wins in 12 starts, claiming The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex and the PURE Insurance Championship. Playing in just his second PGA TOUR Champions event, the six-time European Tour winner held off the likes of Miguel Angel Jimenez and Scott McCarron to win the Senior Open Championship at famed Carnoustie Golf Links. With his win at the PURE Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links in September, he joined Tom Watson and Ben Hogan as the only players in history to claim professional titles at each venue. Broadhurst is the first player to earn multiple wins on the way to Rookie of the Year honors since Rocco Mediate in 2013.
The 2017 PGA TOUR Champions season will begin the week of January 16-21 with the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, to be contested at Hualalai Golf Course in Ka’upulehu-Kona, Hawaii.