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February 20, 2022

Bernhard Langer

Naples, Florida, USA

Tiburón Golf Club

Press Conference

Q. Bernhard, congratulations. Win No. 43 here at the Chubb Classic. Just get your thoughts on the experience and the week here.

BERNHARD LANGER: Well, it feels great having won again. This is, what, the 15th year in a row on this tour?

Q. 16.

BERNHARD LANGER: 16. So, you know, it's great to get off to a good start in the new year, in the new season, and be up there near the top of the Schwab Cup again. I know Jimenez is ahead of me, but just to have a good performance like this is confidence building.

I liked this golf course when I saw it last year. I felt I could win here. It's not one for the bombers, where you just hit it as far as you can and hit it again. You got to be very precise.

It's usually windy and the greens are hard and firm and very awkward some of them, in a good sense, so you have to -- it's more precision here than pure brute strength, and that kind of fits my game more.

So I was fortunate to drive the ball very well. I think I hit 39 out of 42 fairways, which is key. And keep the ball out of the hazard, out of the trees, give yourself opportunities to hit greens and make birdies.

Q. You looked really sharp today, your game. A couple key moments out there?

BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, key moment was definitely No. 9. I hit a really good drive there and got it out there, you know, almost as far as Parel and Goosen, which doesn't happen very often. Then I had a good yardage but I needed 3-wood to make it over the water onto the green. I pretty much hit a perfect 3-wood to about 12, 15 feet, and had an eagle chance. I didn't make the putt, but at least I didn't lose ground.

You know, if that 3-wood goes a little short, a little left or somewhere, I might make 6. So it was a key shot and it gave me confidence to continue on the back nine.

Q. What was your yardage in?

BERNHARD LANGER: I had 231 to the pin.

Q. You said you turned pro 50 years ago I think this year. What did you expect out of a pro career?

BERNHARD LANGER: I really didn't know what to expect when I first turned pro. I was a teaching pro for three and a half years and trying to help other people by giving them lessons and helping them improve their game.

While I was doing that I was also practicing myself some and get better myself. My head pro was in charge of me, he said, Do you want to make a living teaching or playing golf? I really hadn't thought much about it, but I was able to win the German Championship when I was 17 years old.

So I figured, well, I would love to try playing golf for a living, but I didn't have any money and I didn't know if I was any good compared to players from overseas.

There were no Germans on the Tour. I was the first full-time pro that played tournament golf, so I had no one to compare myself with.

Anyway, we know the rest. It all turned out for the better. I didn't have to go back for teaching, and as you say, almost 50 years later I'm still here.

Q. How did it feel to birdie 18 to win?

BERNHARD LANGER: It felt great. I hit a super tee shot and hit as good a 2-hybrid as I can to the middle of the green. Took all the pressure off and was able to celebrate all the way down here, which doesn't happen very often. Usually have to play until the very last ball drops.

But that was fun, having the two-shot lead coming down 18 and then hitting two really good shots.

Q. What are your thoughts on trying to chase Hale in that mark that...

BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, I'm getting closer now. Years ago I thought, Yeah, well, that's almost impossible to reach that. Looking back now, I've lost a bunch of playoffs the last three or four years. If I had won a couple of those I would be right there.

So not complaining. I'm just saying it would've been possible and creeping closer, but it's got to happen fairly soon. It's going to be tough if it -- I can't wait two or three years. I got to do it fairly soon.

Q. I asked a bunch of fans when I was following you today like they watch you, how at 64 are you still -- and I know we ask you this a lot, but a lot of interesting answers on like how this guy does this. Can you sort of sum it up to us how you do it?

BERNHARD LANGER: Well, I'm sure the answer was I'm eating a lot of sauerkraut, right? No?

Q. Not quite.

BERNHARD LANGER: Well, that would've been the wrong answer. Don't know. I guess I have good genes. I'm a very competitive person and so I love to compete. I work hard at it, as you all know. I spent a lot of time practicing and trying to figure out the game.

I was blessed with a good family. Had a great coach with Willy Hoffman who just passed away about a month ago. So that was very sad for me after 48 years or something with him.

And so I got good people around me. Got a great caddie. Got a good team. But in the end and most of all, He's my greatest helper. He gives me strength and endurance and the belief and puts it all in perspective.

So when I think sometimes golf becomes too important for me, just looking up puts it all in perspective. There is for more important things. It's not life and death down here. It's nice to win, but, hey, if somebody else wins, kudos to them. Life goes on, and few weeks from now nobody might remember anyway.

That's the true reality. So that keeps me grounded and keeps me striving to become a better person. So I rambled on a lot. I don't know what the answer is exactly. It's somewhere in the middle of all that.

But being grounded and having faith in Jesus Christ and working hard with the gifts and talents I've been given, I think that's really the answer.

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