Bernhard Langer is a dominant player on PGA Tour Champions. He's approaching Hale Irwin's all-time wins record on the 50-plus circuit, and he regularly steps down to the younger PGA Tour and shows he's still got plenty of wily game in his 60s.
However, if you look at the Official World Golf Ranking, you'll find Bernhard Langer is ranked 781st in the world. There's no way he's only the 781st best golfer in the world. He's easily in the top 200. So why is Langer's ranking so poor and not reflective of his age-defying talent?
Why Langer's ranking lags
Bernhard Langer's Official World Golf Ranking stinks because PGA Tour Champions events do not offer Official World Golf Ranking points. They never have, and they probably never will. For whatever reason, the folks behind the Official World Golf Ranking do not recognize events for 50-plus players to offer world-ranking points. That means players like Langer, then, can only earn Official World Golf Ranking points when they compete in events recognized by the ranking.
For Langer, he's guaranteed one world-ranking event per year as he gets in the Masters as a two-time champion. Sometimes, he gets into the British Open Championship by virtue of his performance in the Senior British Open. He also sometimes gets into The Players Championship on the PGA Tour when he wins the Senior Players Championship.
When he has the chance to earn points, he does well
In both 2017 and 2018, Langer played two OWGR-recognized events: the Masters and the British Open Championship. In 2017, he missed the cut in both. In 2018, he made the cut in both (T-38 and T-24, respectively), so he picked up world-ranking points that got him into the 700s in the ranking. Unfortunately, players like Langer are penalized further by the Official World Golf Ranking because they haven't played at least 40 recognized events in the rolling 104-week ranking period. That means Langer's points are further diluted, meaning his average points per event -- the metric which decides the Official World Golf Ranking -- is much lower than it really is.
Langer is an incredible player, and he debuted at No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking when it launched in 1986. However, late in his career, the ranking formula shows him no love.