Bernhard Langer named PGA TOUR Champions Player of the Year!

 Bernhard Langer Named PGA TOUR Champions Player of the Year for Record Fifth Time as 2015 Award Winners Are Announced 

Langer claims Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Byron Nelson Awards;
Jerry Smith named Rookie of the Year

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – PGA TOUR Champions announced Bernhard Langer as the recipient of the 2015 Jack Nicklaus Award, given annually to the Player of the Year. Langer, from Germany and now residing in Boca Raton, Fla., received the Award at this week’s PNC Father Son Challenge in Orlando, Fla. after recording victories at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship – one of five major championships on the Champions Tour – and the San Antonio Championship. The two-time Masters Champion became the first player to win the Jack Nicklaus Award five times, also claiming the trophy in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2014.

Langer captured the season-long Charles Schwab Cup for a record third time after claiming the trophy in 2010 and 2014. He did not lead the standings until the conclusion of the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, when he lost a playoff to Billy Andrade while still overtaking Colin Montgomerie and Jeff Maggert in the standings with the runner-up effort.

"I'm thrilled to be voted by my peers as the Player of the Year,” said Langer, who won the vote over fellow nominees Maggert, Andrade, Montgomerie and Marco Dawson. “The Jack Nicklaus Award is a very meaningful achievement in my career, and to have now won it five times is certainly pretty special. There are so many great players on the Champions Tour and it has become so competitive. This honor is something I don’t take for granted.”

Seven players (including Langer) led the points race at some stage throughout the season, which established a new record in the 15-year history of the Charles Schwab Cup.

“Bernhard had an incredible season,” said PGA TOUR Champions President Greg McLaughlin. “His level of consistency throughout the year was unsurpassed as he continued to exceed even his own lofty expectations via the two wins and the record third Charles Schwab Cup. He has set the bar high for all of the current PGA TOUR Champions stars, as well as the players turning 50 in the coming years.”

For the second consecutive year, Langer finished among the top 10 in all five major championships in the season. Along with his win at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS, he was runner-up at the Senior Open Championship, T3 at the U.S. Senior Open, sixth at the Senior PGA Championship and T8 at the Regions Tradition. 

"Everyone wants to win the majors and I am no different,” Langer said at the halfway point of the 2015 season. “They're important in the Charles Schwab Cup race.”

Langer posted 13 top-10 finishes in 19 starts, the most by any player in 2015. His six-stroke victory at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS was the largest winning margin of the season and he was the only wire-to-wire winner for the year. He also posted the most consecutive sub-par rounds this season (17) and the most consecutive sub-70 rounds (10). Further testament to his remarkable consistency during the season was his No. 1 ranking in both Greens in Regulation (with 75.69%) and Putting Average (with 1.716) statistical categories.

Bernhard Langer won the Arnold Palmer Award as PGA TOUR Champions leading money winner for a record seventh time.Langer also won the award in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014. He has now surpassed $2 million in season earnings for the seventh time in nine seasons since joining PGA TOUR Champions.

Bernhard Langer claimed the Byron Nelson Award as PGA TOUR Champions scoring leader. With a 68.69 scoring average for the year, Langer earned the Byron Nelson Award for the fourth time in his career. He also claimed it in 2008, 2009 and 2014. Langer’s low round of the year was 7-under 63, recorded in the opening round of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship at Desert Mountain Club’s Cochise Course. Langer was under-par in 50 of the 61 rounds he completed during the season, and posted rounds of 67 or better an impressive 23 times throughout the year.

Jerry Smith named PGA TOUR Champions Rookie of the Year. Smith, who resides in Scottsdale, Ariz., played his first full season on PGA TOUR Champions after finishing T3 at the 2014 National Qualifying Tournament to earn exempt status. After competing in just three PGA TOUR Champions events in 2014, Smith broke through with a victory at the 2015 Encompass Championship, where he holed a greenside bunker shot for eagle at the 16th hole in the final round en route to a three-shot win over David Frost at North Shore Country Club in Glenview, Ill. His 16-under 200 total and three-shot margin of victory were both tournament records. Smith claimed two additional top-5 finishes on the year, posting a T3 at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open and a T9 at the Tucson Conquistadores Classic, where he was the 18-hole leader. His T26 at the Senior PGA Championship was his best result in a major championship. Smith capped the season as the leading rookie on the money list, finishing 28th on the money list with $652,365 in 21 starts. The other nominee for Rookie of the Year was Miguel Angel Jimenez