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May 23, 2008

Bernhard Langer


KELLY ELBIN: Bernhard Langer, ladies and gentlemen, World Golf Hall of Famer. Joining us at the 69th Senior PGA Championship after his second consecutive 71. Two day total of 142. Two over par and currently just one shot out of the lead. Bernhard, looked like it was another pretty solid round of golf.
BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, overall it was pretty solid. I got off to a pretty good start. Then I just missed a couple of short putts later in the day.
The greens got a little bumpy, the poa annua grows when it's warm. When you are beyond the hole you can't really attack the putt because you go 15 feet by. So you just kind of dribble it down to the hole and then it just goes off.
So I misread one or two and just missed a couple of short ones. Otherwise it would have been a very good round.
KELLY ELBIN: If you would, please, go over your four bogeys and three birdies.
BERNHARD LANGER: I started on the 10th hole today. Birdied No. 12. Where I hit 3-iron off the tee. A pitching wedge to about seven feet.
Then bogeyed 14. I hit again 3-iron off the -- 4-iron off the tee into the left rough and I had 80 yards to the front and couldn't even move it 80 yards. The lie was so bad. I had to go with a pitching wedge as hard as I could, but there was no chance. Then I chipped it up and 2-putted for bogey.
Then I birdied the next one, the par-3. Hit about a 6-iron to about 20 feet and made the putt.
To the front nine. I missed one on No. 1. I hit a really good shot in there to about six feet and missed it.
Bogeyed the third hole, hitting the green left. I had a 3-putt from about 20 yards.
Bogeyed number 5 after hitting a good tee shot and an 8-iron, which the wind did a total switch on us, it should have been right-to-left, hurting and all of a sudden it went downwind. So it pitched next to the hole and bounced over the green. I chipped it up and missed another 6-footer or 5-footer.
Then finally birdied number 7. Hitting a really good 4-iron to about four feet.
No. 9. Again, the wind switched, I hit a great 8-iron right at the pin, thinking it's perfect because everything, I figured in the uphill, a little bit of wind hurting and all that, and didn't even reach the green. Came up ten yards short and chipped it up, almost made it, so. The wind got really tricky. It wasn't consistent.
The forecast was sort of northwest, but it was all over the place. And it makes it that much harder to get it close to the green or close to the hole or even on to the green.
KELLY ELBIN: Thank you. Open it up for questions, please.

Q. How do you settle your emotions and keep them in check knowing that you shot a, what you shot, but knowing that this tournament seems to be wide open and, beside Mark O'Meara, no one, Oak Hill is not giving up a lot of big sub par rounds?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, it's tough to not get frustrated out there. Because again I've hit a number of good putts, a number of good shots that produced no result or a bad result.
If you hit a perfect shot and you hit a good putt, you like to get something out of it. And it doesn't always happen. But the setup is very difficult. And it's extremely hard to shoot below par. Because any hole can grab you. There's really not one birdie hole where you think that, well, I should birdie that one, otherwise I'm going to lose half a shot to the field. There's nothing like it, because you can't reach the par-5s and all the other holes you got to hit a really good shot.
Other thing is you can't go long. All the greens are back to front. So you got to always try and stay below the hole and when the pin's only five or six or seven yards on, it's very hard to do. So it's a constant battle with even par, basically.

Q. We heard that there was an official that came out and inspected your driver. What happened there? What was the ruling and what exactly happened?
BERNHARD LANGER: Oh, I just heard a little bit of noise in my head, something got loose, so I asked him if -- I use one of those drivers that has two screws, for weight. Weighing. And I asked him if I could tighten the screws if a screw was loose. And I didn't know the ruling. It could have been some weight inside the head that got loose because sometimes my drivers I put a little bit of, what do you call it? Some kind of spray or something, some lead tape inside to make it draw. And I didn't know what it was.
So I just called for a ruling to clarify that. And it was one of the screws that just got half a turn loose or a turn, and made a little bit of noise. So they were able to tighten it up for me and it was fine.

Q. What has been the biggest reason for your success now that you are having a strong year. What do you think has really been the biggest reason for your success this year?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well I think I've been playing some pretty good golf the last two years. I played on the PGA TOUR last year and a little bit on the European Tour. I've had some very good results. And that kind of just carried over into the Champions Tour. And I just enjoy playing golf. I like the competition. I'm a very competitive guy and I'm continuously working on my golf swing to improve it.
And I've had a pretty good long career. So I don't see any reason why I shouldn't have success on the Champions Tour as well. I figure if I play close to what I'm capable of playing I could be one of the dominant players out here and so far it's been the case.

Q. When you saw Mark's score I'm sure you're aware of it, a 4-under. With the way this course is set up, do you tip your hat at him, or just go, are you surprised that somebody can actually go that low on a course like this? Your reaction?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, my reaction was, hey, somebody's going 3 or 4-under, it's possible. It's doable. So let's do the same. That was really my goal. I was setting out it to finish in the red numbers today, which means shoot at least couple under.
And at times I was on track and then I got side tracked when I missed a couple of putts and the wind got tricky on top of that otherwise. But if you play perfect and you hit it at the right time when, without getting any gusts going the wrong way, I think it's possible. Especially earlier in the day, I think when the greens are very pure.
KELLY ELBIN: You hit 21 of 28 fairways. Obviously driving the ball pretty well so far.
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, I'm not driving the ball very much. That's one of the keys. I'm using a lot of three irons, hybrids, 3-woods, playing the course what it gives me. And I think that the course is set up extremely difficult if you hit driver on every hole. Because it, there is always a dogleg and the fairways are not shaped straight, they have curves in them and you have to carry a certain part and then it slopes away. And so for me when I played the practice rounds, I just figured I would have to hit a certain clubs off the tee that leave me longer shots into the green, but at least I can hit them, because I'm going to be on the fairway.
Like the par-5, number, what is it? Number 4. I'm hitting a hybrid, a 5-wood off the tee. On a par-5. I mean I never hit a hybrid off any par-5 because I'm usually trying to get down there as far as I can. But it makes no sense.
Scott Hoch hit driver, hits it straight through the fairway, because you got two bunkers and it doglegs around, there's no way to hit it. And it's like that with a number of other holes. There's nowhere to go unless you hit it within five yards of where you are going. And that's difficult to do, especially when it's windy.
So the course, I said that early in the week, the course is 7,000 yards, but you can't hit driver on many holes, so it's really playing far longer and if it was par 72, it would be 73, 7,400, plus you hitting a lot less club, so it really plays like 7,600. But that's how it is.
KELLY ELBIN: Bernhard Langer, thank you very much.

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