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June 27, 2015

Bernhard Langer


THE MODERATOR: We're pleased to be joined by the 2010 U.S. Senior Open Champion, Bernhard Langer. Bernhard, rounds of 71, 66, and 68, a three-day total of 205. That's 5 under par through 54 holes. Bernhard will be in the final grouping in the U.S. Senior Open for the fourth time, was also in the final grouping 2010, 2012, and 2014. Very good round, 16 of 18 greens. You birdied the 1st hole, missed the green at 2, and then didn't miss another green until the 18th hole. Can you talk a little bit about what seemed like a pretty steady front nine and then really picking it up with three birdies in a row to start the back?

BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, just kept the ball in play and hit a lot of decent shots. Just couldn't make any putts early on. Sometimes didn't get the ball really close to the hole. Got it fairly close on 10 but missed a putt. And then 11, I hit it real close, about 5 feet or 4 feet. So I got a three-birdie stretch there. Made a nice putt on 12 from a little further away. And then 13, I hit it to about 15, 16 feet, which is really good on that hole. Again, had a couple more chances but nothing really close. And then 18, I hit a beautiful second shot. Got lucky. My fee shot ended up in the rough and drew a pretty good lie there. I drew my 3 hybrid and thought I hit it exactly the way I wanted to, but it must have been spinning too much or the wind got it, and it came up short on the bank. Chipped it up and missed about a 9-footer or something, 8-footer.

THE MODERATOR: We saw a lot of putts burn edges out there, including your putt on the 18th hole today. You've won five major champions. Can you talk about being in the final grouping, being in contention? You won the last major by six shots. This time, it's a very crowded leaderboard. We have ten players within one shot of the lead. How do you try and separate yourself tomorrow in the final round?

BERNHARD LANGER: The only way to separate yourself is by playing great golf. You can't make a lot of bogeys. You've got to try and avoid mistakes and make some putts and hit some incredible shots. It's the only way to really separate yourself. But as you said, there's probably 20 guys, maybe more, 30 or 40, that are within a shot. We saw what Kenny Perry did today. So there's everything to play for. It's good to be in the last group. That way you have an idea what you have to do coming down the last few holes. In case you're playing solid and you're in the hunt, at least you know what's ahead of you and what you have to do to finish.

THE MODERATOR: Should be a very exciting Sunday.

Q. Bernhard, when you won in 2010, it was pretty much a two-man duel with yourself and Fred Couples. Tomorrow will be a much different scenario. Which is harder? Which do you prefer?
BERNHARD LANGER: It doesn't matter. I've been in all sorts of scenarios over the 40 years that I've been a professional now. So it really doesn't matter. Basically, you're playing against the golf course to start off anyways, and only the last few holes could come down to a duel. It could come down that you just have to play great golf because there's still five or six guys in the hunt.

Q. How much did it help to get your caddie back today after not having him the first couple of days?
BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, it was good to have Terry back. I'm very comfortable with him. We've been together nine years, and he put a lot of work into this event Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, prepared very hard for it. I felt really bad for him not to be able to work on Thursday and Friday because he loves his work and puts a lot of effort into it. So it was good to have him back, even though I felt very comfortable with Bobby as well.

THE MODERATOR: You've had a lot of success in Major Championships, nine top tens in a row in Champions Tour Majors. What is it about playing 72 holes as opposed to 54 that you think maybe brings your game to the forefront?

BERNHARD LANGER: Well, you act like I haven't done well in the other tournaments. No, just kidding. It really just gives you one extra round. If somebody plays really well and you have one extra round, you can separate yourself a little more than in three rounds. It's hard to win a three-round tournament by six or by eight because you only have three chances. But it's a little bit easier in four rounds. That's all.

Q. Kenny Perry was in here earlier. You just mentioned him. He was talking about how it was easier for him this morning because he was able to free wheel. He gets out on the back nine, there's nobody out there. He's able to throw it at the flag. If it works, great. If it doesn't, nothing lost. You're in a different scenario, playing in the last group. How do you approach that? And would you prefer to be in a more free-wheeling atmosphere, or do you like the position you're currently in?
BERNHARD LANGER: No, I like where I'm in. If I was in a free-wheeling position, I'd be six or eight behind, and I would have very little hope of winning. I'd much rather be in the position I'm in where I'm at. Obviously, it's a little bit easier early on. The greens are a little softer. The ball holds a little bit better and all that. And as Kenny said, he didn't have much to lose. He probably just fired at the flags, and if he pulls it off, great. If not, he's not going to go too many spots backwards.

Q. You're also in a spot, though, where by the time you tee off tomorrow, you may no longer be in the lead because the number of people.
BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, but that's to be expected. With two par 5s on the first four holes, I'm sure there's going to be some guys that are going to be 2 under, maybe 3 under after four. So, yeah, could well be. But I have the same opportunities. I can birdie those holes as well.

THE MODERATOR: As we've been talking, you're now tied for the lead at 5 under par. It sounds like Tom Watson just made his putt for par as well. Congratulations on a great start to the U.S. Senior Open. Best of luck tomorrow.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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