July 20, 2022
Auchterarder, Scotland, United Kingdom
PGA Centenary at Gleneagles
MATT JOULE: Good morning,Bernhard, welcome to the Senior Open here
at Gleneagles. As the most successful man in the history of this
tournament, how much do you look forward to it year on year?
BERNHARD LANGER: Very much so, we donâ€™t get a chance to play much
links golf and most of the time this tournament is played on a links
course. Iâ€™ve just grown to really enjoy links as a way of playing the
game. Even though we are not always on links courses; this tournament
does a great job of putting on a fantastic event. It is always fairly set up
it seems, challenging but playable. I walked around yesterday, and I
noticed yesterday I think the last time I was here was 30 years ago. A
lot of the holes have been lengthened dramatically.
For senior golf, it seems pretty long, I donâ€™t know how it plays. There are some carries of
255 over bunkers, for some of us itâ€™s a challenge. I know there are
probably 30 or 40 guys who donâ€™t worry about that, but there are
probably 40 or 50 guys who struggle getting there.
MATT JOULE: And how is the game?
BERNHARD LANGER: The game is okay. Putting hasnâ€™t been great, so
working on that, but everything else is pretty decent.
Q: You mentioned 30 years ago, some of the memories of the
memories and being here, the Bells Scottish Open, it was a great event
BERNHARD LANGER: It always was a great event, Iâ€™ve always enjoyed
playing in Scotland. Scotland and Ireland the people just know the
game, everyone seems to play it, the butcher, the baker, anybody has a
golf bag, in the house or the back yard somewhere. They are very
knowledgeable, and it is just fun playing in front of them, it is a great
atmosphere and a wonderful experience.
Q: Was this a course you thought you did well on back then?
BERNHARD LANGER: I donâ€™t recall, I think I have only played here maybe
two tournaments if that. I think I was in the running once, maybe twice;
my memory is not the best when you go way back. I remembered when
people ask me what Gleneagles is like, I say it is a beautiful setting, you
have lots of hills and side hill lies and some blind shots, which is unusual
for a parkland course.
Q: Bernhard, do you ever at night if you are trying to sleep, you probably
sleep well, do you ever go through a litany of all the tournaments you
have won and could you do that?
BERNHARD LANGER: Maybe I should (laughter)â€¦ I usually go through my
day and go through the last 18 holes I have played and go well what did I
do wrong here, did I think wrong here, did I think wrong, did just miscue,
what are the issues, what could have I done better. But I like your idea
(laughter), I might make a note of that. This goes to the area of positive
thinking, like they say you should read Godâ€™s word when you wake up
and when you go to bed and that would be another positive think to do,
Q: You do have a phenomenal record in this event, even though you
are getting older, you still come here looking to win, there is no doubt
BERNHARD LANGER: Absolutely, Iâ€™m hoping not to be just a number out
there. Iâ€™m hoping to be in contention, to have a chance to win that is just
my nature. When the time comes when I am playing for 50th or 80th spot
every week, then it is time to hang it up.
Q: Youâ€™ve seen a lot in the game over the years. What is
your view on what is going on at the moment across the game?
BERNHARD LANGER: Itâ€™s hard to really put into words for me. Iâ€™m not
really involved, it doesnâ€™t affect me. I didnâ€™t get a multi-million offer from
(From the floor): Are you sure about that? Do you regret or feel sad about
BERNHARD LANGER: Iâ€™m not even going to answer that (laughter). I
really havenâ€™t read into all the things, Iâ€™m not part of the board
discussions on this side of the Atlantic or the other, so I really wasnâ€™t
involved. Iâ€™m just reading what you guys write and what I hear from the
media or colleagues. It is in a way concerning, in another way, some
people might thing it is exciting, I donâ€™t know if that is the right word. I
think some of my colleagues will make a lot more money in the future.
That is the outcome. That is debatable whether that is great for the game
or not. We can compare it with other sports where they have had I donâ€™t
know something similar happen in certain sports, but not in many. I
think we had a wonderful product, a lot of history. I donâ€™t think many of
us would be complaining with the living we have made from this game so
mean if you go back 40 or 50 years ago when Jack Nicklaus and Arnold
Palmer were playing, they certainly didnâ€™t make that much money
considering how good they were in the game, right?
Q: I know this is an if, but if the Open Champion and the Ryder Cup
captain go this week or soon is that bad, what message is that sending
BERNHARD LANGER: There is a lot of messages going out, this way and
that way and there is a lot of arguments. But again, I donâ€™t really want to
comment to much on it. Bottom line is we a re professional, we do this
for a living. If someone gets injured or hurt or has the yips, nobody
takes care of them right. That is the other side of the argument, we are
not employed by anyone we are what do you call usâ€¦..independent
contractors, there you go. And if we donâ€™t perform, we are gone and we
are history, and nobody cares about us. You might here the argument
from some of the players that they need to take their family and myself,
Iâ€™ve got to make the money while I can, while Iâ€™m hot, while Iâ€™m good,
while I am healthy and that may only last 3 years. But then you have
the whole other side where you say how can this be good for golf?
How can this be good for the next generation? How can this be
promoting the game? But again, I donâ€™t know all the facts so I shouldnâ€™t
really be saying anything, that is the bottom line. I am just spectating,
watching on and seeing where it goes. I was very happy with what we
had before? (Interjection from floor)
Q: When youâ€¦ sorryâ€¦you go ahead?
BERNHARD LANGER: But I donâ€™t really want to take about LIV, I want to
talk about the Senior Open Championship, appreciate it.
Q: This is my first Senior event, so I am quite excited and for the first
time you have an Indian in the Senior Open field, with Jeev Milkah
Singh. First question, how do you keep motivating yourself after so
many years and second have you ever seen or spoken with or played
with Indiaâ€™s Jeev Milkah Singh?
BERNHARD LANGER: Yes, Iâ€™ve done both. Iâ€™ve met him, spoken to him
and played with him. It is great to have a world class golfer come from
India. There will be many more, I am convinced of that. To the
question of motivation, I have never had a problem motivating myself.
Maybe that is part of my background, where I grew up from a very poor
family, to having grown up with hard work and just trying to be the best I
can be. But that has never been an issue. If that becomes an issue,
again it is time to play less or just stop. You canâ€™t be very good if you
are not motivated. For one that drops out there is a hundred guys to
jump in and take your spot, so youâ€™ve got to be motivated, youâ€™ve got to
be hard working to be at the top of this game at all times.
Q: Is there a trick to being motivated, what would you do if one of your
friends came to you and said I just havenâ€™t got any motivation at the
BERNHARD LANGER: I donâ€™t think there is a trick. You just have to ask
yourself why you are doing this. I love what I am doing. And God has
given me a great gift to be very good, naturally and you put hard work
with it and that usually produces some good fruit.
Q: Have you ever fallen out of the game; I mean when you were
BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, there were a few days, when I had the yips
severally. You know you play out there in front of thousands and millions
of people on camera and you are making a fool out of yourself that is not
fun. But those times were very few and far between. Iâ€™ve been a pro
now for 50 years and that is a long time and Iâ€™ve had far more good
years than bad ones.
Q: Presumably you thought this was some kind of test send to you so
that you would just get through it?
BERNHARD LANGER: I didnâ€™t know what to think. I just preserved and I
became a believer and read the bible and it says you should persevere,
and we can learn a lot from it. The one time I was really thinking of
maybe giving up the game was in 1989, I went through a very difficult
spell. I came away with sort of an answered prayer saying I am not
done with you yet, continue. That was the message I got from I call
God, I would say that was the message I heard from God, you might say
you are crazy talking directly to God. Anyway, I preserved and found a
way to putt better and now we are what 33 years later and it has been
an amazing 33 years.
MATT JOULE: Thank you, Bernhard, for your time. Good luck this week.
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