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May 24, 2008

Bernhard Langer


KELLY ELBIN: Two time Major champion, Bernhard Langer joining us the leader in the clubhouse after three rounds of the 69th Senior PGA Championship. Plus 2. 212. One stroke lead. Bernhard, thoughts on the round today and what looks to be an exciting three some tomorrow.
BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, it's, I played really well the first part of the round. Really hit some good shots that gave myself plenty of opportunities. And just left about 60 percent of my putts short or 70 percent the first couple hours until I eventually got used to the speed of the greens.
Then kept hitting good shots most of the day. So I hit a wayward 8-iron on 10 and then a bad pitching wedge on 16. Those were probably the only two really bad shots I've hit all day.
Everything else was pretty solid. So I'm pretty excited about that. It probably wasn't as good as I had hoped for, but I made a couple of crucial ones coming home. Missed a really short one on 17. I have no idea what happened there. It was actually a good putt. I putted the right half, right center and the ball kind of went in there and just came back out of the hole and ricocheted around.
So I think that the plant is just growing in these warm conditions and it makes the greens a little bit bumpy and tough and you have to deal with it. But it's the same for everybody. Otherwise it was fun playing with Jeff and Mark. We had a great three ball together. And I look forward to tomorrow I guess it will be Jay and Jeff. So three of us get along pretty good. So we should have some fun tomorrow too.
KELLY ELBIN: What was the length of that missed putt on 17, please?
BERNHARD LANGER: I don't know, probably two and a half feet. Maybe two feet. I'm not sure. Pretty short.
KELLY ELBIN: Open it up for questions, please.

Q. You and Jeff are playing really well together at the same time. When that happens, it's sort of elevating each of your games when you're both playing well at the same time?
BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, we both hit the ball very well and he made a couple of long putts, holed a bomb there on No. 6, I think it was from the back edge. And that was a great roar.
It was just fun being out there. Great atmosphere. The people really got into it. And that's -- I heard some really big cheers. And as I said, the three of us get along pretty good. We were talking a number of times down the fairway and on the tee and on the green. And we kind of probably fed from each other.
He played some really good golf and I played pretty much as good as I can too. And that was fun to watch and be part of.

Q. He's got the crowd behind him, do you think that you actually feed a little bit off the other guy being the favorite?
BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, I noticed that obviously he's the hometown boy here and people took a liking to him and they just treat him very special. But I got a lot of cheers too. So I was pretty pleased with the welcome I got and the way the people treated me this week.
And I noticed that actually years ago when we played the Ryder Cup here it was one of the fairest Ryder Cups from a crowd standpoint that I've ever been in. I've been in 10 or 11 of them and I noticed that even then and I've said that many times. That the golfing fans up here really know their game. I think that they enjoy good golf.

Q. Can you describe for us you talked about this being fun. To most of us this looks like a torturous golf experience. Can you explain why this is fun for you? What's fun about it?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, it's torturous if you hit it in the rough because then you're just trying to advance it somewhat. But if you keep it on the short stuff, then it's a lot more fun, let's put it that way.
It's a bit like a chest game. Where do I take a chance, where do I play safe. Which pins can I go at, which pins do have I to shoot away from. And that kind of stuff.
And it's fun when you hit the ball where you are looking. You say, okay, this is my target, I want to hit it there. And you make contact and the ball takes off exactly on that spot. That's what's fun. Obviously it's not fun when you play army golf, left and right. And hack it out of the weeds.

Q. You were on 18 it looked like you were going to go grab a hybrid and try to do something with it. What was your thought process there?
BERNHARD LANGER: The lie -- first of all I was surprised I was in the rough. I hit a slice off the tee or a fade and landed left center of the fairway, almost middle of the fairway, and I'm picking up my tee and I'm thinking I'm perfect. And I'm chit chatting all the way down and I went to my caddie, where's may ball? He says, I don't know. I thought it was on the fairway.
So it's a foot in the rough. So we get there and it's sitting down again, I've only got like 140 yards, but to get it 140 yards I need an 8-iron out of the rough. And the lie was not very good. So I thought well maybe I could hit a hybrid because the hybrid is round on the bottom and you can actually if you make contact with it, it comes out low and running. So I thought it might be better to hit a hybrid into the hill and hope to bounce it up there and get it near the front edge.
But after I put that hybrid down there it looked like I might not even be able to hit that. So I went back to the other option and tried to muscle an 8-iron out of there and got it halfway up the hill. At least I had an uphill chip, so. That's, that was the thinking behind it.

Q. Within two minutes you go from two fellows three shots in the lead to a three way tie. I don't know if you've ever seen that before, but what did it feel leak once you realized that had happened?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, as we were on 18 tee we heard this huge roar and I could tell by the roar, I figured somebody holed the second shot. I didn't know it was Jay, but I knew somebody did.
Then when I got to 18 I looked at the leaderboard and I saw Jay going from 4-over to 2-over and I knew what happened. So that's -- that can happen out here.
Obviously somebody said he was in the rough and had landed it 20 yards short and it rolled up there. So there's some luck involved, but it still had to be somewhat of a decent shot to get the ball just somewhere near the hole. And to go in is a bonus.

Q. Having, having been frustrated by not being able to put up some better scores on this course, what's your mindset knowing that you've played the most efficiently perhaps of the field these three days and yet you only got a one shot lead?
BERNHARD LANGER: I don't know if I played the most efficient. I don't know how everybody else played. So I have no idea. I just know how I played and the two people I played with.
I just play the golf course the way I think I can play it the best. I hit drivers on some holes and I'm going to hit 4-irons and 3-irons on some other tee shots and just try and keep the ball in play to avoid bogeys or worse and hopefully make a few birdies whenever the opportunity shows up.
That's all I'm here for. I'm here to make the lowest number, the lowest score I can possibly play and hopefully that's better than anybody else. But it might not be. Who knows. We'll find out tomorrow.
There's still a bunch of guys in the tournament and they, the conditions we have out here with the wind and everything, somebody gets hot like Mark O'Meara did yesterday, he can go 4-under and somebody else can go, Mark O'Meara shot 8 over today, so big swings can happen in a heart beat.
KELLY ELBIN: You hit 13 greens in regulation today. That's your best number so far. Is that an indication that your iron play is where you want it to be?
BERNHARD LANGER: That's what I said earlier. I hit a lot of tee shots on the fairway today and I didn't spend much time in the rough. And once you hit the fairway you have opportunities to get the ball on to the green. For the most part my irons were pretty good. I hit as I said, I had two bad tee shots two bad iron shots a pulled 8-iron and a pulled pitching wedge. So, but everything else was pretty decent.
KELLY ELBIN: Bernhard Langer, the leader after three rounds of the 69th Senior PGA Championship. Thank you.
BERNHARD LANGER: Thank you, too.

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