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July 23, 2008

Bernhard Langer


SCOTT CROCKETT: Welcome to the Senior Open Championship at Troon. You went close at the Senior PGA Championship a couple of months ago; are you looking forward to going one better one time around here?
BERNHARD LANGER: I came close and played pretty well that week. Yeah, a lot to win this week. It's a great golf course, really in good shape. I love links golf. I love the turf and everything about it. All depends on the weather and obviously we have a very strong field and a lot of formidable opponents.
SCOTT CROCKETT: And your own form, how are you feeling going into the week?
BERNHARD LANGER: Feeling pretty good. My form's been pretty decent the last two years, played pretty good most of the time. In golf there's always a bit of up-and-down. Just depends on how well you putt really. Overall, I'll pretty pleased.

Q. Was there a specific Open Championship you felt you should have won?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, there were probably two that I should have won, the 84 at St. Andrews and '85 at St. George's. I felt I outplayed Seve by numerous shots in '84, and he beat me by two in the end, and same thing in '85. Well, '85 was a little different and I was actually co-leading with David Graham, and got a couple of bad breaks. Hit somebody's foot on -- what was it, the fourth hole I think, the long par 4. And if I had not hit the marshals, it probably would have been on the green; and it ended up 20 yards off the green and ended up making bogey and things like that.
But I felt those two would have been fairly easy to win, the way I played.

Q. What would winning this week give you?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, I just did a radio interview and I guess it would be the next best thing to winning an Open Championship would be to win the Senior Open Championship.

Q. How do you see The Ryder Cup Team shaping up at the moment?
BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, to tell you the truth, I had not really kept up with it the last few weeks, so not quite sure. I looked at list two or three weeks ago, but I think things have changed now with the last two weeks, and I guess Padraig is in and somebody else is out.
I did like the way the team shaped up. I thought he had a lot of good, solid players in there, young players and some with quite a bit of experience. I think we're going to have a pretty good team for years to come.

Q. Obviously from a Scottish perspective there is a good deal of interest in Monty - would you pick him if you were captain?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, depends, you know, how he played the last two months and where is he in the rankings, too. If he's far away, then it's going to be harder to pick him, but if he's very close to that automatic tenth spot, then it would be more obvious to pick someone with his record and his experience than to pick a rookie or somebody else. Where is he in the standings right now? So he's not too far away.

Q. Did you feel he had a positive effect on your team?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, definitely, I wouldn't pick anybody if I didn't think he was an asset and a good player. And because I had a very tough choice, I had about five players, I would have liked to take more but I could only take two with me. It was difficult to leave the other three out and tell them they are not part of it.
I think that's one of the hardest things The Ryder Cup captain faces, to call those people or to meet them face-to-face and say I'm sorry, you're not going to be part of it, because many of them expect it I suppose.
I don't envy Nick for that because I had to go through it. And, you know, I personally experienced it with Mark James when he didn't pick me. That's one of the hardest things.
It just depends what you're looking for as a captain and what type of golf course you play, as well.

Q. Do you think the Americans are more up for it this time than they have been the last couple of years?
BERNHARD LANGER: Oh, I think they always want The Ryder Cup back, there's no question about it. There's so much importance on it and so much hype, even in America, maybe not as much as over here. But bottom line is, they hate to lose and so does everyone. We wouldn't be out here if we weren't competitive, and you can just about guarantee that every player in the top several hundred in the world are very, very competitive in nature and don't want to lose. They want to win, no matter when they play and where they play.

Q. Were you surprised at Greg Norman's performance last week?
BERNHARD LANGER: I was a little bit surprised. I know that Greg is a great player and he can still perform and play well. Whenever he has played lately, he seems to have played fairly decent whether it was in the Shark Shootout or father son or a couple other events he played. He was in contention at the Senior PGA Championship a few weeks ago. So I knew he would go in there playing fairly decent, but to have a two-shot lead after three rounds is pretty awesome.

Q. Would you expect to be involved in The Ryder Cup in the future?
BERNHARD LANGER: No, not as a player, probably not. There's so many guys and the courses are so long nowadays, that they have plenty of players to choose from. I don't think they need me --

Q. What about as a vice captain or in an administrative role?
BERNHARD LANGER: I don't know. I haven't been approached. I don't know. I have to see.

Q. How much of an asset would Martin Kaymer be to The Ryder Cup team?
BERNHARD LANGER: I think he would be a great asset. I really like what I see in Martin Kaymer, not just as a golfer. He's got a great swing and a fantastic temperament, but also as a person and a character. He's a wonderful guy. So there's no doubt in my mind, you know, if he shouldn't make it this year, I think he will, but if he shouldn't, he will definitely make it the next few times. He's had some personal tragedy to go through with the cancer of his mother, and then her passing away a couple of weeks ago, so that had to weigh on his mind pretty heavily I think and it probably affected his golf game somewhat. Hopefully time will heal the wound and he'll play even better in the future.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Bernhard, thanks, as always.

End of FastScripts

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