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July 26, 2006

Bernhard Langer


NICOLAI LAUDE: Welcome back to Germany, first of all.


NICOLAI LAUDE: We are glad to have you here again. I think it's quite some time ago you visited your home country, and you flew in from London from the British Open. You had some problems with your health, with your back. How is your situation right now?

BERNHARD LANGER: Well, we're working on it. I've had some back issues the last four and a half weeks that started in America, had to withdraw from a tournament with neck and shoulder injuries, and that took about two, two and a half weeks until it got better. And then about a week later, my lower back started to hurt, and we're still working on that, but it's getting a little better.

NICOLAI LAUDE: So no major influence on your game or your swing at all?

BERNHARD LANGER: That's a major influence. If you have to withdraw from a tournament, that's a major influence. I couldn't play and then I didn't practice for about three weeks because of it. Last week it was still pretty sore and hurting, so I think it does affect my game, yes.

NICOLAI LAUDE: Nevertheless, it's coming back to a place where you won twice quite some time ago, but overall, I think it's always good to come back to a place where you were successful in the past.

BERNHARD LANGER: Definitely. It's much better to come back to a place which you like and where you've won than to a place where you've missed cuts and had no success. It's also a golf course I've played many times, so I know my way around, and on top of that, it's always fun to play in Germany in front of my home people.

Q. Were you close to pulling out of The Open last week? And if so, was Jesper Parnevik having a quiet word in your ear because he was first reserve on the first tee all day?

BERNHARD LANGER: I felt pretty bad on Monday; Monday afternoon it was really painful. But then I got some treatment. The physio guys arrived on Tuesday, and that really helped me a great deal. I started to feel better every day a little bit, so by the time Thursday came around, it was good enough to play. It wasn't perfect, but it was good enough to play.

Q. You've only played three events in Europe. Can you just fill us in on what else you've been spending your time? Has it all been in America or are you playing a reduced schedule this year?

BERNHARD LANGER: I'm playing sort of a reduced schedule the last few years trying to cut back a little bit. I used to play somewhere between 33 and 35 events when I was younger, then I went back to 30, then 28, and now I'm probably around 25. But I do play a full schedule in America. That's where we spend most of our time because of family reasons, and obviously I like the Tour, as well.

But it's just a lot easier to travel instead of flying back and forth across the Atlantic, and the whole time change makes it very difficult. I've done that for many years, and I think it's time to take it a little bit easier.

Q. You were saying after your captaincy that you harbored the hopes of playing at least one more Ryder Cup. It hasn't gone obviously the way you wanted it to. What are your feelings on that at this stage?

BERNHARD LANGER: Well, I always said from the very beginning that my chances are very slim to make the team. For one is that I play a limited schedule compared to some of my colleagues. The other reason, I don't play on the European Tour much, so the only way for me to make the team would be through the World Ranking Points, and to do that with a limited schedule, you'd have to play extremely well.

I am aware of that situation, and I was hoping I would play extremely well, but it hasn't happened.

Q. Has Ian Woosnam approached you for any advice, and if so, what would be the kind of things you could tell him to make his job a little easier?

BERNHARD LANGER: He has not. I haven't seen him for many months actually. I briefly ran into him somewhere at The Masters possibly, but there was not much talk about the Ryder Cup.

Q. The second part to that, is there anything that you would volunteer that immediately leaps to mind that you think would be a help to him?

BERNHARD LANGER: If he wants to talk to me, I am definitely available. Whatever I can do, I'd love to help to make the team do the best they can and win again and keep the Cup in Europe. But it's up to him. If he feels he wants to talk or ask something, I'd be very happy to pass that on if I can be of my advice, and if he thinks he's got it all and doesn't need any help, then that's his call.

Q. And just finally, how do you think that the teams are shaping up? There's been a lot of talk about the American team featuring lesser known players, possibly at least five rookies. How do you think it's looking at the moment?

BERNHARD LANGER: Well, I think a lot of stuff could still happen, but we have some lesser known players, as well, I think, on our team if you want to use that expression. I think there are some big names who are not on the team right now, whether it's Harrington, Clarke, Westwood and a few others. But things can change; we still have a couple of months, and there's some big tournaments. The team can still change and then the Tour wild cards will have an impact, too.

End of FastScripts.

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