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September 6, 2023

Bernhard Langer

St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Norwood Hills Country Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Thanks for joining us. This is the third event for the Ascension Charity Classic. What does it mean to be back in St. Louis? You've had two top-10 finishes coming in. Being back here, how does the course fit your game and how do you like the city?

BERNHARD LANGER: Well, that's a lot of questions, but it's great to be back in St. Louis. It's a wonderful place here. Really Norwood Hills Country Club is a great test of golf, very tight driving golf course, and a good combination of short holes, long holes, and yeah, I've done fairly well, but still looking for the W.

But we're excited to be back here. I think the forecast is great. I played yesterday, and the course is in phenomenal condition. It should be a wonderful week for the fans and the players and everybody that's involved with the tournament.

Q. You've got Hale's record. Talk about what that has meant to you, doing that and the longevity of it all?

BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, it's incredible, really amazing. I didn't think it was achievable when I came out here first, and then as I came closer and closer to it, I said, oh, well, maybe, outside chance, but you never know if you get hurt or if your game goes south or whatever the case may be.

I got closer and closer, and thought, well, it's definitely possible now.

But the way it turned out, to win it with maybe one of the biggest events that we have with the U.S. Senior Open and to do it in the fashion I did it, having a seven-shot lead with a few holes to go, was pretty amazing. I couldn't have dreamt it up any better. It was a great victory, great venue, and had a few friends there to celebrate with me.

I was very happy for my caddie because that was the one tournament that was missing in his repertoire, whatever, because the other U.S. Senior Open I won with my son on the bag. It was all around an amazing victory and a great stepping stone to achieve.

Now everything else is just gravy, whatever comes.

Q. What is it a stepping stone toward? What else there?

BERNHARD LANGER: Well, maybe 50, who knows?

Q. What's your relationship with Hale?

BERNHARD LANGER: We've had a good relationship, friendly one. We've known each other for many, many years, competed in the U.S. in other tournaments, mostly against each other in the Ryder Cup once or twice, I think.

But I believe we both have a lot of respect for each other. He used to be on the PAC Advisory Council for the two and so was I, so we spent some meetings together there. We share a lot of commonalities.

He's a great ambassador for the game of golf, great role model for all of us, and still enjoy seeing him when he plays in the Legends or Tournaments of Greats they call it when they come out two or three times a year.

Q. Did you hear from him after that?

BERNHARD LANGER: I did, yeah. He sent me a text congratulating me, and it was very nice to receive it from him because of the respective for him and what he's achieved in his career. It means a great deal.

Q. Is there a hardest part physically to coming back year after year at this point?

BERNHARD LANGER: Well, yeah, every year in the 50s I felt fairly good. My body felt pretty good. Now I'm 66 and I certainly feel more aches and pains than I had before, but it's still to the point where I can get up every morning and go to work and enjoy it. It's not like what's so painful I can't swing the club.

I still love competing. I enjoy coming out here and hanging out with the guys, and we play some great tournaments for some wonderful charities.

I don't see any reason not to continue a few more years unless something drastic happens.

Q. Every week it's no secret, and you just mentioned it with charity. What do you think this tournament means to this community?

BERNHARD LANGER: Oh, I think it's like any other community where we go; it means a great deal. We raise hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars depending on the tournament for the local community, for local charities, and that's a big deal. That goes a long way.

That's what the TOUR in general is known for, and we fit right in with the PGA TOUR Champions.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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