After Bernard Langer’s seemingly inevitable charge to the top of the Charles Schwab Cup standings on Thursday, preliminary preparations began for the coronation on Sunday. He rendered the Cochise course at the Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, Arizona almost defenseless with his 7-under 63. And that was with two of the par-5s converted to par-4s. It doesn’t much matter where it is, 63 on a par 70 course is exceptional. Just like Langer has been all year long.
Friday was different. He still gutted out a respectable 68, but that was with three bogeys. The ball just didn’t seem to have eyes like it did on Thursday. This was a very professional holding action, but the coronation plans were placed on hold by Michael Allen’s 64 with a flashy birdie/eagle finish to vault into a 2-shot lead. Langer will still be in the last group with Allen, but the day begged the question of contrasting faith in those two situations.
Q. I got a lot of good feedback on the post I wrote today about your comments on your faith yesterday when things were going well. So can you give us some comments on how your faith sits when things don’t go as well as you want them to?
BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, that’s an appropriate question, especially when I went to fellowship last night. We have a Bible study every week out here and Larry Moody, who actually led me to Christ 30 years ago, he was our chaplain again. He used to be out on the PGA TOUR, now he’s out on the Champions Tour.
Anyways, he spoke about valleys and peaks and how easy it is to praise God when you’re winning, and not just winning as a golfer but when things are good in life, when you’re in the sunshine, when you’re healthy, when whatever. You’re making good paychecks, your relationships are good and all that kind of stuff, it’s easy to praise God.
But how about in the valleys, you know? Some people have a hard time when you’re in the shadows in the valleys when things aren’t going well, when you’re diagnosed with cancer, when your child dies, when all sorts of things happen. You lose your health, you lose your job, you struggle with all sorts of things.
So we had a great study there last night and I went over it again this morning and I try to take it to heart. So I had a few shadows today, a couple of valleys I had to conquer, but hopefully I handled myself well. That’s the idea. It’s a bigger picture. This is all very brief and not permanent. When you look at it from an eternal perspective, this is meaningless in a sense, you know? Very short lived.
Q. So everything —
BERNHARD LANGER: We’re too much in the temporary and we’re not considering what’s after this. That’s the bigger picture. So I can always be grateful even when things go bad. It was all about thanksgiving and being grateful. I can always find things to be thankful for and grateful for no matter how bad things may be.
Q. Because you know how the story’s going to end.
BERNHARD LANGER: Exactly, yep. He didn’t promise us a great life here, but He promised us a great landing, a great smooth finish, whatever you call it when we get there.
BERNHARD LANGER: You’re welcome. But I’m not going to give you a sermon every day, okay? [Smiling] Just kidding, I’m just kidding. I enjoy that, thanks.
TIM ROSAFORTE. You talked yesterday to Dave Marr about how you were at peace yesterday. Did what Pastor Moody said that night, did that give you that type of peace today when not all the putts were going in?
BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, it’s just the peace of going there knowing there’s a bigger picture. We’re going from the land of the dying to the land of the living, not from the land of the living to the land of the dying. That heaven is far greater than the earth will ever be and being in the presence of God is — he mentioned Payne Stewart, and Payne Stewart when he passed away was tragic. I’m sure he missed his kids and his wife and his friends, but I’m convinced he didn’t want to come back. Once he saw heaven and was in the presence of God, he didn’t miss earth at all. That’s the bigger picture I’m talking about.