14-Year-Old Jason Becomes Youngest Son to Win Tournament
ORLANDO, Fla. (December 14, 2014) – World Golf Hall Fame member Bernhard Langer and his 14-year-old son, Jason, won the PNC Father/Son Challenge on Sunday at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Grande Lakes. Langer, a two-time Masters winner, and Jason shot 62-59=121 (-23) to win the tournament by two shots over Davis and Davis (Dru) Love IV.
Jason is now the youngest son to win the PNC Father/Son Challenge in 17 editions of the event. Jason’s brother Stefan held the record for youngest winner as a 15-year-old champion with Bernhard in 2005.
“It was an unbelievable, magical week, just like the whole year,” said Bernhard. “Jason, I’ve been watching him play golf for several years now and he has played better the last two days than he has ever played in his whole life, under this kind of pressure. It’s unbelievable.
We thought it was an amazing feat to win when Stefan was 15. He was the youngest winner ever since they played this. Then Jason comes in and he is not just the youngest, but this is the first time he has played in it. Stefan had played a couple before and had kind of got used to the environment and all that. I am so proud of him.”
Team Love shot 64-59=123 (-21) for second place, while Vijay and Qass Singh and Curtis and Tom Strange finished tied for third at -20. The Langer’s two-day total of -23 is two shots shy of the tournament record.
“I think we both tried a little too hard, we get a little impatient,” said Davis Love III. “When you make a couple pars in a row, like any tournament, you feel like you’re getting behind. We did better today, obviously, than we did yesterday, but we stalled on 7, 8 and 9 both days. We both hit it well enough to win today, but the short game was just a little off.”
Bernhard and Jason jump-started their final round with six birdies and an eagle in their first seven holes. Team Langer made birdies on one and two, an eagle on three, birdies on holes four through seven. They finished up with five more birdies on the back nine, including a birdie on 18 to conclude the round.
“Just to be out here, I was hoping for maybe a top-10, even a top-5 if I played really well, but nothing near like this,” Jason said. “I was satisfied with the way I played. I made a few putts today and, as expected, he played really well. Yesterday we were burning a lot of edges. We missed a few short once we wish we’d have gotten back. Today, it was really good. I left them out there the first three holes, but he made up for it and he drained them. Those first three were so key today.”
The Langer duo beat a field of 20 teams – including 14 World Golf Hall of Fame members – playing a two-day team scramble format.
Langer, who has played in the tournament nine previous times, joins Raymond Floyd and Larry Nelson as the only other players to win the event with two different sons. Langer won with his son Stefan in 2005 and 2006.
Defending champions Stewart and Connor Cink tied for eighth, while 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus and his son, Jack II, tied for 15th.
“We had a lot of [birdie] opportunities, for sure,” said Jack Nicklaus. “We didn’t make much all week. When you are finishing where we did, you don’t make many putts. You make a lot of putts, you finish up. Any time I play, I want to be competitive and we just weren’t very competitive. I particularly, Jackie didn’t play too bad. Jackie played reasonable well.”
The PNC Father/Son Challenge, held for 15 years from 1995-2008, made a return in 2012 with new title sponsor, The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
To qualify for the PNC Father/Son Challenge, participants must have won either a major championship or THE PLAYERS in their career. The professional’s partner must not currently hold a Tour card, and while the majority of partners in the history of the event have been the sons of the golf legends, the family-themed tournament has seen daughters and grandsons participate over the years.
The PNC Father/Son Challenge is operated in partnership by IMG and NBC Sports.