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July 20, 2005

Bernhard Langer


RODDY WILLIAMS: How much confidence has your performance at the British Open given you coming into this week here?

BERNHARD LANGER: Well, confidence is always important in the game of golf, like in everything that we do. So it's a major factor and it's good to have some success. It gives me some confidence, but at the same time I know we're playing a totally different golf course, a different venue, and the setup of the golf course, you know, it's just totally different. The greens are softer and faster, instead of last week, we had firm and slow greens. So it's quite the opposite, actually.

RODDY WILLIAMS: How difficult is it to adjust to that?

BERNHARD LANGER: It takes a little bit, but, you know, we're used to switching and changing week after week. So most of us get a chance to play once or twice before the tournament gets off and we should be good enough to adjust.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Could you just tell us about the final round last week? I think in the last ten groupings or so, only yourself and Tiger Woods finished under par. How difficult were the conditions on the final Sunday?

BERNHARD LANGER: Well, the pin positions were tough. They had picked spots, one or two I had never seen before. Like green No. 10, all of our distances were measured to the left side of the green, which normally is the pin is over there, and it was way on the other side, that's not even part of this golf hole, you know. It was actually on the other green on the eighth green it seemed like.

So we were thrown off by that, or I was, certainly, and immediately hit a bad shot and made bogey from 80 yards away. In general the pins are put behind humps or on the downslope or where the wind blew from right to left it was on the right. It was difficult to get it near the pin on 12 or 14 of the holes, so you always faced longish putts, and that was hard and that's one reason this the scores were so high.

Q. Retief gave the opinion earlier that Tiger's main rivals may have slipped back a bit and are not playing their best; how would you see that?

BERNHARD LANGER: I would probably agree with that. Tiger is very good at not beating himself. I think that is one of his traits, a bit like Jack Nicklaus. Jack would never beat himself. He wouldn't make bogeys and bogeys and open the door for the others, and that's the way Tiger plays.

If you watched him last four or five holes, once he had a four shot lead, he took absolutely no risk whatsoever. He even hit a 4 iron off the tee on 18 or something like that and just played it totally safe, middle of the green, and just parred on in, which is good enough.

I agree, guys like, whoever is there, whether it's Vijay or Goosen or Garcia, I don't know, there's a whole bunch of them, if they would have played to their best they could make it very difficult for Tiger. But a course like St. Andrews, it's so easy to make a few mistakes, and in the end you make bogeys and double bogeys.

Q. You've won here in the past, I believe, about ten years ago?

BERNHARD LANGER: Something like that.

Q. Have you had a chance to play the course this week yet?

BERNHARD LANGER: I played yesterday.

Q. How is it looking this week?

BERNHARD LANGER: It's looking very difficult. The wind was howling yesterday and that always makes it hard. The rough is very high, very punishing and the course is wet. It's playing very long. They have extended some of the holes, so it's playing a bit longer already, and then especially thereafter on the greens, there was really thick stuff. You miss the green by two stuff, and you can't see your ball from two yard away, so that's at times, it's bad at the U.S. Open or even worse, so it's going to make it tough, especially if this wind stays up, which is probably will.

Q. Who do you see in the field as being some of the players to watch out for this week?

BERNHARD LANGER: Well, I would think it's the top players again and people who are very good in the wind. My personal favorite would probably be Retief.

Q. Were you are surprised to play as well as you did at St. Andrews, is your game pointing in that direction?

BERNHARD LANGER: I was a little surprised to be in the top five, but I could have finished second alone really if I had not made is that bogey and double bogey from 80 yards away, but there's a lot of coulds and woulds and shoulds. My goal was to be probably in the Top 20, Top 30, that would have been a good performance, so I did better than good, let's put it that way.

My game has been steady all year. It has not on horrible. There was a time when my putting was a bit suspicious early in the year but I seem to have gotten that under control the last few months. Now it's just a matter of hitting enough good shots.

End of FastScripts.

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