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July 26, 2018

Bernhard Langer

Tom Watson

St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom

Q. You closed your round with a birdie, as you look back on the round, what stood out?
BERNHARD LANGER: I had a really good start. Got to 4-under really quickly and got to 5-under but made two bogeys. Made two 3-putts. Otherwise, you know, played fairly solid, and the 3-putts were far away, so I have to blame my second shots maybe more than my putts. It was a pleasure playing with Tom Watson, as it always is. What a great gentleman and a fantastic player. Told him on the 18th, he's still hitting a lot of solid shots and you can see why he won so many British Opens and other titles around the world.

Q. I know you shot a great round, too. What was it like walking here in the fairways, the Home of Golf, alongside Bernhard Langer and you two have such great history?
TOM WATSON: It's déjà vu because 1984 we played the final round together here. I have to say that he could very easily have won the tournament if his putter was working. He hit it close to the hole a lot that day and came up with nothing.

Today he came up with something. He got off to a pretty good start. Got to 5-under par. But you know, this inward nine was into the wind. The outward nine was where you had to score and the inward nine, you know, you had to pick your spots on the inward nine.

When I was happy about, I didn't make a five on the card today. That's the first time in a couple of decades I've done that.

Q. We talked during the broadcast about how special it is to have this championship here at the Home of Golf, St. Andrews. That's from our perspective. What does it mean to you two?
TOM WATSON: You just look at the number of qualifiers that came over here to qualify. Normally, it's 350, maybe 400 qualifiers try to get in. It's over 600 qualifiers tried to play the Old Course at St. Andrews. That's how much it is revered and how people think about it; they want to play here.

The excitement level is better and it's just a step higher with everybody around the tournament here this year.

Q. What's the joy that's going through your body playing in this championship at St. Andrews?
BERNHARD LANGER: It doesn't get any better. I love links golf no matter where, but to play at the Old Course is just huge. It's a lot of fun. When you get to our age, you never know, could this be the last one at the Old Course, could be the last one anywhere.

So you've really got to enjoy it. But to finish what Tom started with the qualifiers, you look at the field, I think it's the strongest field we probably had in a long time, especially from overseas. A lot of the Americans came over because of the venue. Obviously the tournament is fantastic and Rolex, who supports it, is a great sponsor.

There's a lot of great players in the field can it just shows how much it means to them to play here.

Q. Good way to start your first round?
BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, thanks very much. I got off to a good start. I got to 4-under quickly after five or six holes. Had a chance to go really low today but made two 3-putts, I think it was on 14 or 13, I believe, and 17, but that's golf. The greens are so huge here; if you don't hit it close enough, it's easy to make a 3-putt.

I also made my share of putts and it felt good to make birdie on the last to get back the bogey I made on 17.

Q. Nice to have a nice long birdie putt in front of all the crowds?
BERNHARD LANGER: The crowds were phenomenal. Everybody loves to come here to St. Andrews and enjoy this beautiful links and just the town and whatever it offers. It's a great field. Many from the overseas players are here making the trip and it's fun playing links golf.

Q. And how good was it to play with Tom Watson?
BERNHARD LANGER: It's always great to play with Tom Watson. He's won more Open Championships than anybody I think, and he's won a lot of great tournaments all over the place, and you can always learn from Tom Watson. He's a fantastic wind player. He's got a great mind. He never gets down on himself and is always very positive. I just enjoyed playing with Tom many times over the last 34 years.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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