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July 30, 2008

Bernhard Langer


RAND JERRIS: Bernhard, so far this year, two victories, two runner-up finishes, you've been playing quite well, pretty strong showing last week at the British open. You must be feeling great about your game as you come to the Broadmoor this week.
BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah. I've been playing fairly well last two tournaments or so, I had second and fourth and not too bad, hitting the ball reasonably and the whole thing is pretty decent, so I'm looking forward to the challenge The Broadmoor is here.
RAND JERRIS: Obviously a lot of success in major championships. When you come to a championship like this at the U.S. Senior Open, how do you draw on your success in the past?
BERNHARD LANGER: It's a different venue, it's a different golf course. We're playing an altitude I've never seen the golf course before, extremely tough green, so you don't draw a lot on whatever you have done in past majors. You just realize you have to hit fairways and greens and leave the ball below the hole. And it's sometimes better to be 50 feet going uphill than 10 feet downhill, that kind of thing, so that's some experience I can draw from having played in many other majors and the Masters which are very severe greens too.
RAND JERRIS: I was just going to ask you that question. You are a player that's had successes on courses with difficult greens. What have you seen in the greens here the last two days, and how important do you think putting is going to be this week?
BERNHARD LANGER: These greens are some of the most severe and punishing that I have experienced anywhere in the world. They're extremely slopey and quite fast. You're dealing with a lot of other things here that also everything seems to break away from the mountain. Plus you're dealing with altitude when you get your shots in and you're constantly figuring, you know, is it 10 percent or is it five percent.
And it makes the whole thing a lot harder because I know I hit my 8-iron 154 plus or minus two, but in altitude you're not so sure anymore. Early in the morning when it's cool and a little more damp, the ball might not go as far and then in the afternoon when it's hot and less humid to dry, the ball goes a lot further, so it changes quite a bit with the time of the day, as well.
RAND JERRIS: We'll take some questions, please.

Q. They're going to have drug testing in pro golf starting on the Champions Tour next year. Now, golf hasn't had the seam problems with doping that you see in track and field and cycling and some of these other sports. Do you see the rationale behind instituting the drug testing?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, I really don't because I don't think we're going to have a problem like they do in cycling or other sports where explosive strengths or energy or whatever you want to call it is so important. In golf. You don't really need that. You don't want to bulk up because then you lose flexibility, and it doesn't really help you a great deal.
I think the only thing that might be of any help is to calm your nerves down, but I'm not even sure there is much on the market that you would want to take anyway, so I think we're just going along with other sports to show that we have nothing to hide, and that's okay, I suppose, but I don't think it was really necessary in golf because I don't think we're going to find a whole lot.

Q. Do you think anybody is doping right now, or do you think guys have doped in the past?
BERNHARD LANGER: I really don't know anybody. I was extremely surprised when Gary Player made that comment a year ago or whenever it was, because I think if you know someone, you should confront them and deal with it and not just hush it under the table and not say anything. But I really don't think there is much out there.
RAND JERRIS: You were talking a little bit before we started the press conference about the difficulty in playing major championships in consecutive weeks. Can you share a few of those comments with us?
BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, it's pretty hard on us 50 years old to go back-to-back majors. You don't do that to 20 or 30 years old. They're doing it to us.
I think it's quite difficult because we were over in Scotland. It's a seven-hour time change. You're in altitude; the traveling, the time change. We're not the youngest. That's why it's called the Senior Open.
I think most of us would love to see a date change in the future, if that's possible, because it's pretty tough for us to do back-to back majors. We're used to playing three-day tournaments and now we're playing four days in majors and two in a row.
And some of us, many of us who have the majors, they count double points in the Schwab Cup, which is important to us. So you feel like you have to play them and you want to play them, and it would be nice to get the scheduling to a point where they're spread out a little more.

Q. With the weather, I mean is it going to be a pretty big factor, with the heat? You talked about the cool mornings, and you think of Colorado and mountains, and the last thing you think about is the heat. Do you think some guys might have a problem with that?
BERNHARD LANGER: I think it's extremely tiring. I would call myself reasonably fit, and I was really tired today when I finished, and I played in the morning.
So when you're out there at 90 degrees and the sun is even warmer and you're at altitude, you're walking a golf course that's quite hilly, and it's going to take four and a half, five hours to play because the course is so tough; it's going to take a lot out of the guys; plus an hour warm-up. So you're out there many hours in the sun and altitude.

Q. Are there certain holes or greens that kind of get away from them where you might be seeing some outrageous scores that are particularly tricky, and is there any number that you think will win this tournament?
BERNHARD LANGER: I always have a hard time with numbers and stuff, and I really don't try to shoot a certain number. I just go out there and hit every shot as good as I can and play every day as well as I can, as low as I can.
So I'm not sure with the number. You know, it could be even par. It could be over par, and it might be a couple under, but my tendency right now, the way the golf course presents itself, I think it's more chance of being over par. The winning score than under par. That's just my opinion at the moment. It might change in a couple of days. And mainly because there is some rough out there, some demanding holes and extremely tough greens.
And you mentioned, is there any way we can get away from them. I think we're going to stay on top of it, but there's a lot of them that are extremely severe. And if you hit it to the wrong side or if you hit a pretty good shot, as they get a little firmer, the ball's not going to stop immediately. It's going to bounce.
And I was saying to Craig Stadler, who I played a practice round with, I said, it would be a miracle if you could play four rounds here without a three-putt or a four-putt. He'd say, how about one round. He's right. If you could play 18 holes without a three-putt, that's quite an achievement.

Q. Is there one green where you just shook your head, that there's no way --
BERNHARD LANGER: No. I don't want to mention any greens. All of them are severe. There's hardly any one green that is where you say, wow, this is pretty simple, pretty flat and maybe even more so because we played at Troon last week and the greens were fairly flat there and a little bit slower, and we come here and it's quite the opposite.
RAND JERRIS: Bernhard, thank you very much for your time and we wish you lots of luck this week.
BERNHARD LANGER: Thank you. Appreciate it.

End of FastScripts

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