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May 27, 2016

Bernhard Langer

Benton Harbor, Michigan

JOHN DEVER: Good afternoon, welcome back to the 77th Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid. Joined here by Bernhard Langer, who, first of all, thanks for your time. 64 -- 69 yesterday, 64 today, which is your lowest round in your now eight Senior PGA championships. So I ask, what is the difference between Thursday and Friday?

BERNHARD LANGER: I made more putts today and I hit my irons a little closer. It's a little easier to make a 10 foot putt than a 20 foot putt. We all know that.

I played pretty good yesterday, just didn't get much going. I was a little bit flat. But today I got off to a nice start and continued to play really good golf throughout the whole day.

I made one bogey which was maybe my best iron shot of the day, it was a 4-iron straight at the flag and it just rolled this much into the back rough and then I had a delicate shot there and I kind of shanked my chip shot.

So, that was the only negative. Everything else was really good. I drove it well, I hit good approach shots, and made a few putts.

JOHN DEVER: Four for four on the par-5s in terms of carding birdies. Is that a key component for you this week on this golf course?

BERNHARD LANGER: Well, it's always a key component. When you don't do well on par-5s, it shows up on the scorecard real quick. You got to take care of, take advantage of the par-5s. The way the wind has been the last two day, helping wind on most of the par-5s, they're reachable and so you need to try and go low there.

JOHN DEVER: Questions?

Q. Yesterday there was a 62 and a 63 early. I don't know if that put any added pressure on those coming after that, but you posted a 64 early today or are you looking at that maybe adding a little pressure to the leaders when they tee off?
BERNHARD LANGER: I didn't look at it that way. When I saw 9-under earlier I figured, oh, the golf course can be had. The conditions are that good; soft, where you can go low. So I knew I could go low if I play well.

And I tried to go low, but I just didn't make a lot of putts yesterday. I missed a bunch of opportunities and, but at the same time, I figured you can't win a tournament the first round, you can only lose it by shooting a high number.

So, I stayed patient and I finished 2-under and I figured I got three more days. If I shoot three good scores, I might have a chance.

JOHN DEVER: It seems like you're really doing what you need to do off the tee. Are you driving the ball as well as you have all year right now.

BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, the last few weeks I drove it really well. I found something last week, changed my swing thought slightly on the driver and I drove it the best I probably have ever driven it in my life two round in a row. I didn't miss one fairway on Saturday or Sunday. Not one. And there's a couple of tight fairways out there.

That set me up for aggressive second shots and it was key.

I'm still driving it good, yeah, I haven't hit many bad tee shots here.

JOHN DEVER: Do you mind sharing the swing thought?

BERNHARD LANGER: Oh, it's a secret, I can't do that. It wouldn't work for you guys, so there's no good sharing it. No it's just getting my left shoulder further over to the right knee. But don't try it, it might not work for you.

Q. What was the thought?

Q. What was the thought?
BERNHARD LANGER: I just shared it.

Q. Yeah, you just shared it. That was great.

Q. So all this being said, did you think when you started playing senior golf that you would have the success that you had and not only the success you had, but success so late in your career, I mean, obviously, your career is, the way you're playing, maybe you're in the middle of your career in the senior golf, but did you ever assume that to be the case?
BERNHARD LANGER: No, I was hoping to be one of the top-5 or 10 players on this tour, but to have won the Money List seven out of eight times, and three Schwab Cups and Player of the Year and all sorts of stuff, no, I didn't, I had no clue. I really played some exceptional golf the last eight years.

The one year where I didn't win the Money List I had surgery on my thumb, I was out for about four months with that and played with pain two months before and two months after, so the whole season was kind of a mess.

But the other years, when I was healthy, it's been pretty amazing.

Q. The other part of that equation is, winning last week, if you win this week, obviously you have the career Grand Slam on this tour. How long do you think you would want to play? You've accomplished, except for, obviously, I guess eclipsing Hale Irwin on money, you've accomplished everything you would want to accomplish on this tour.
BERNHARD LANGER: That's true, but I've always said there's three things for me, if it's up to me:

I need to be healthy. If I'm not healthy I'm not going to be able to play the way I want to play.

I got to enjoy the game.

And I got to have some success.

So if one of those three things is missing, then it's time to thinking about or contemplating on hanging up the shoes or the glove or whatever you want to call it.

But I still enjoy the game, I'm healthy enough to do what I'm doing, and I love to compete. I'm a very competitive guy. Don't play ping pong against me.


So, it's fun. It's great, it's a wonderful TOUR. We play some great courses. I enjoy playing a few tournaments only three rounds. You get to go home for a couple of days. I've learned to pace myself where I don't play every event. I'm going to miss next week, because I played THE PLAYERS Championship and the last two Majors out here, and that's more enough for me. I don't want to play five in a row. So, sometimes you just got to know what's good for you and what's not good for you.

Q. Speaking of health, how do you remain healthy? Do you work out regularly and has that changed over the years?
BERNHARD LANGER: No, I work out regularly and I eat lots of dessert. So, again, don't listen to that.


But it's the truth. I have a very sweet tooth.

No, I eat fairly well. I love salads and vegetables and don't eat a lot of red meat. But I do like desserts. I probably have some good genes. And I live an active life-style, so I haven't gained a lot of weight. I do a lot of stretching and some working out and that seems to be good for me.

Q. So, you tie for the lead today at 9-under, and just talk about, yesterday you said you really like challenges, you really look forward to challenges. What's the challenge of going up against other golfers like Brandt Jobe or Rocco Mediate?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, there's always -- you really play against the golf course, not so much against the other guys. At least that's my mindset.

I got 36 holes to go, so I'm not teeing it up tomorrow playing against Rocco or Brandt Jobe or whatever. I need to play the way Bernhard Langer can play and make the best of that. You're really only playing against a person maybe the last six holes or nine holes or three holes, if it comes down that there's only one other guy at the lead or maybe two other guys. But today I wasn't playing against John Daly and Mark Calcavecchia, no, I was trying to do the best I can.

And they all have different strengths and different weaknesses and so some guys get hot on certain days and/or certain weeks, and other guys are always fairly good. So it just depends.

Q. You played well here over the years. Do you feel like you've conquered the golf course or each time you play it are you learning new things about it, new nuances?
BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, there's some nuances you're still picking up here and there. Even though I paid great attention to detail the very first time I played this course, because I know how important it is, especially in Major Championships. And especially on a golf course like this, where the greens are so much like that.

So if you don't know the exact yardage to each knob, because if you hit into the knob, it might spin backwards and if you hit the back side of the knob, it goes 20 yards forward. So you need to know those things and you need to plan accordingly and then figure it out, where you can maybe make some putts or get it up-and-down and all that.

And it doesn't always work, because we don't hit perfect shots all the time. But the more often I can do it, the better it is.

So, I'm known to take great caution or take my time when I play a practice round and make notes. I write stuff in my yardage book like many others do, too. But some they just play practice round for 20 bucks or 50 bucks and they don't pay as much attention and I personally think that's not the best way to prepare for a Major Championship.

Q. Could you talk about today were there any place where you had a good up-and-down that kept the round going or made a good shot or a good putt that really made the difference to get you to a 64 first of all. And second, is there any part of this golf course that concerns you a stretch or a hole that concerns you that you're glad to get through it at least with a par?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, often it depends on the wind. But I was first of all I birdied the first hole, which was really good. Go under par right away.

Then I had a great up-and-down on number 4. Which maybe one of the hardest holes out here. The hole that the par-3 along the water and the wind is blowing over the water, so I hit 3-iron today it was like way over 200 yards to the pin. And I pushed it a little bit right, made sure I didn't go in the water. Played a brilliant pitch shot there over a bunker downhill, but into the wind, to like three inches. So that was good.

Another great up-and-down I had on No. 9. I hit a wonderful drive, very good 3-wood, but it rolled into the greenside bunker and I had a downhill lie on the bunker and then I had to go up the green and over the pin was behind one of those knobs. And played a phenomenal bunker shot to about a foot and a half.

So those are the kind of things -- then the next hole, again, 10, another par-5, hit a great drive, I was between hybrid and 3-wood, didn't want to go long, because you have nothing if you go long. So I took the hybrid, came up short, five yards short and I'm chipping into the grain, into a knob, and then the pin is right over the knob. So again I hit a beautiful shot to about two feet and made birdie there.

So, those three holes, it could have been easy where I don't get it up-and-down, but I did all three times.

Q. You've been in contention a number of times in the final round in this particular championship, unfortunately, you've come up short. How meaningful would it be to win this championship to give you all senior Majors?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, I was told last week that nobody's ever done it before. I didn't even know that. So it's always special if you can do something that no one has done. And to even think that even guys like Nicklaus or Hale Irwin or Tom Watson, I mean there's so many legends and great names that have played this tour, that nobody's ever won all five Majors is pretty amazing. So, hopefully I'll have a chance and it would be a thrill.

Q. Does it add any special meaning if this was the one?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, of course it would, because the clock is ticking. I'm going to be 59 soon. So, the longer I wait, the harder it's going to get.

But last week was a special tournament for me, not just because I hadn't won that tournament either, but it was my 100th victory as a professional golfer and that's pretty unique. Not a lot of people get to that number.

JOHN DEVER: Thank you, sir.

BERNHARD LANGER: All right. Thank you. Pleasure.

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