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March 8, 2008

Bernhard Langer


DAVE SENKO: Bernhard, 6-under today for 130, 12 under going into tomorrow. Maybe just talk about your day, whether today's 65 was better than yesterday's or about the same.
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, the difference was I putted better today. Made some putts yesterday I didn't -- I made 2-putt from about 15 feet and that's about it.
Today I made one or two longer ones and a couple of 12-, 15-footers. You know, played pretty good on top of that. Had a good start with a birdie/eagle on 2 and 3, and then a nice run again on 11, 12, 13.
Now you're really looking at -- hit a perfect tee shot on 14. Had a wedge in there and only made par. Two good tee shots on the Par 5s and then birdied that and bogeyed 17 when I got a bad bounce on my tee shot.
The finish really kind of stinks, especially when you play that well to that point. But otherwise, no complaints. I'm happy with the way I strike the ball. The putting was better today, which was key.
DAVE SENKO: Birdies, starting at No. 2, and shot sequence.
BERNHARD LANGER: 2 was a driver and a sand iron to almost -- well, one and a half feet. Lipped out.
And then 3 was driver, 4-iron, pin high, and made about a 35-footer, 30-footer probably across the green.
Then 6 -- I'm trying to remember all these holes. Missed a good opportunity on 5 when I missed about a 12-footer. Pretty straight.
6 was driver, 9-iron. Actually, 8-iron, sorry. Made about 15-footer there.
Then 11 was a 3-iron off the tee. I think I hit 9-iron another about 15 feet. I'm sorry, that was the next hole. That was 12, what I just told you.
DAVE SENKO: Yeah, 9-iron.
BERNHARD LANGER: 11 was the 3-iron, sand iron, and about a 10-foot putt.
12 was 3-iron, 9-iron, 15 feet. 13 was 7-iron and about a 25-footer.
BERNHARD LANGER: And 17, I hit 5-iron pin high. It took a big bounce through the green, and then my chip lipped out and rolled all the way down the hill to about 60 feet, 55 feet. Two-putted from there.
Then I lipped out on 18 again from about 14 feet, 12 feet, something like that.
DAVE SENKO: Questions for Bernhard.

Q. Can you talk about how this course suits your eye, because obviously you're playing very well out there.
BERNHARD LANGER: It suits whoever hits the ball well. You got to drive it straight. You have trees everywhere and bunkers and you need to control the iron shots and control the spin.
Sometimes you can back them up and other times it bounces forward. Today there was more wind, so it was a little tougher to figure out how much wind there was, especially when you're down low amongst the trees.
But I do like the golf course. It's a golf course where you have to scrape a few tee shots and try to position the iron shots below the hole so you don't have downhill putts all day long.

Q. Up to that last Par 5 you've taken advantage of them. Is that a key going into tomorrow?
BERNHARD LANGER: To take advantage of the Par 5s?

Q. Yeah.
BERNHARD LANGER: I think so, because they are reachable. I reached all of them today again. I had a 5-wood into 15, 3-wood into 18. So they played a little longer into the wind, but they were still reachable. Just couldn't get it up and down. I think some of the key is to birdie those Par 5s.

Q. (Question concerning the drop on 18.)
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, it kept rolling and rolling. I had to drop it on a steep slope, and after two drops you get to place it and I couldn't even place it. It just kept moving. I put it down and it just slowly would roll.
I would put it down again and it'd still roll again. And you can't just put it anywhere. You got to put it as close as possible. Did that about three, four, five times and it eventually stopped. I wasn't going touch it, because I think the rule is if you move a piece of grass or anything within two club lengths of the ball and it rolls after that you get penalized. I didn't want to touch anything because it could have still rolled after that.

Q. (No microphone.)
BERNHARD LANGER: Just a little bit, because it wasn't a great lie. Usually when you -- after dropping it twice you can place it and you can usually place it in a nice position where you don't have a lot of grass. It was so steep I had to put it where there was grass behind it to hold it and stop it rolling, and that made it tough.
If I had a clean lie I could have put more spin on it. Shouldn't have hit it there in the first place, I guess.

Q. TV has been pronouncing your name Langer. And you do prefer Langer, correct?
BERNHARD LANGER: In German it's Langer but nobody can say it. I just say Langer over here because I get frustrated explaining it. I've been doing it for 32 years. It's Langer in German, but you don't say Ah, you say A. You say A, B, C.

Q. There was a lot discussion about that on TV.
BERNHARD LANGER: It's worse when they leave the H off.

Q. (No microphone.)
BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah. I think the 80 number is closer to it. Depends which ones you count or not. I won numerous events in Germany, which are professional events, and I don't know what they all include or not. But that seems about the right number. 140 in Europe and then a whole bunch all over the world and then a few others in Germany.

Q. How has your golf experience been in southern California in the past?
BERNHARD LANGER: Good. I been enjoying coming here. Great courses. Not always a friend of the poana greens, to tell you the truth, but, you know, that's what I actually grew up with in Germany, too. A lot of poana over there.
But I do prefer bent greens or really fast, smooth greens if I have the option. I actually went to a new putter this week just because of the greens. I have more loft to get the ball rolling. I like to putt with very little loft and very smooth greens. You only find those about five weeks a year, so...

Q. Just curious on your mental state after the round. You shot 65, but you didn't take advantage of the last two Par 5s. Do you feel like you let some more people into the tournament?
BERNHARD LANGER: I definitely gave some of the players a chance again. If I had closed out the way I played the first 14 holes I would have a big shot lead, and it would have been a lot easier tomorrow. You got to look at the positive. I'm still three ahead and playing well, so if I shoot a good round tomorrow it's going to be difficult for them to catch me.

Q. (No microphone.)
BERNHARD LANGER: Not full as some others would play, but probably around 18 or 20. I'm not playing every event.

Q. Why this one? It seems like everybody wants to play here. It's almost like a major because of the field.
BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah. That's the neat thing about the schedule on the tour. We play two or three and of a week off or two and then we play two or three. Most guys play every tournament there is, it's just that I have a few other things I need to do.
I need to play my own tournament in Germany and the other tournaments in Germany. Going to do two trips over there, and I want to play the Masters, probably the PLAYERS. Those are things that take away from the Champions Tour, and you know, that will not always be the case.
Another year or two I won't be in the PLAYERS Championship. I can always play the Masters for another few years, but this year, anyway, that's not the case. I'm not going to play like 29 events, more like 18 or 20.
Why this week? Because there's nothing else going on. It's perfect. To come over here for two weeks from Florida, it's great. Have two tournaments that close together makes the trip worthwhile. Nothing else really going on that I would like to play.

Q. (No microphone.)
BERNHARD LANGER: No. I'm hitting it solid. You know, I feel I'm swinging well and I hit the ball in the sweet spot, which gives you extra yards. I'm surprised him ` it further than Tom Purtzer. Maybe he's hitting a lot of 1-irons or 3-woods. I don't know what he's doing, but usually he bombs it by me a good 30 or 40 without even thinking about it.

Q. (No microphone.)
BERNHARD LANGER: I've always worked out all my life. I enjoy working out. I think you feel better. It's preventive as much as anything else, because we all know after a certain age you start losing muscle and gaining fat.
I'm trying to slow the process down a little bit. I've had back problems since my 19th birthday, so I need to take care of myself. They wanted to operate on me twenty odd years ago and I didn't let them, so I need to make sure I look after my body. If you're not healthy you can't do anything. Certainly can't play golf.
DAVE SENKO: Okay. Thank you.

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