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January 31, 2004

Bernhard Langer


Q. What's behind the really good play right now?

BERNHARD LANGER: I've put a lot of work into it over the off season and the winter, worked very hard on my swing with my coach, and then playing a new ball, as well, which seems to give me a little more distance, and a new driver, so I'm hitting it out there a little bit further, which makes it easier.

Q. The obvious question is, and you may have answered this before but we'll get to it again, is playing in the Ryder Cup, -- have you announced firmly that you will not be a candidate under any circumstances no matter how well you might be playing?

BERNHARD LANGER: That's exactly what I have announced, yes. I made up my mind that I would not play no matter what. It's so much work and so much effort that goes into the Cup, so much of a personal touch, as well, and I've thought already a lot and I don't want to give that up, so I'm going to be a captain, yes.

Q. You had a smile on your face on 16. Was that because of the shot or the atmosphere or both?

BERNHARD LANGER: It was definitely both. It's an unbelievable atmosphere. It's just surrounded by people and all they want to do is yell and scream. It's fun when you hit a good shot. It's not so much fun when you don't hit the green.

Q. Are you affected by the cheers at 16 while you're playing 15 at all?

BERNHARD LANGER: Not really. I mean, you can hear them, obviously, but we're constantly exposed to some kind of noise out here. It's never perfectly quiet, so if you can't block that out, you probably shouldn't be out here.

Q. (Inaudible).

BERNHARD LANGER: Not really. I mean, the Ryder Cup probably comes close to it atmosphere-wise. It's pretty severe and pretty unusual.

Q. Some of the people seem to criticize the crowd at 16, but do you think it's good for the game to have a hole like that at one tournament a year?

BERNHARD LANGER: I don't know if it's good for the game, but it's certainly good for this tournament to get a lot of people to come out here, and they seem to enjoy themselves.

Q. With so many players in their 40s starting to resurface, has that been a ripple effect psychologically as other guys look at the Kenny Perrys of the world, Scott Hoch, guys who have had success, and said there's no reason we can't compete out here well until you're 50 years old?

BERNHARD LANGER: Well, I think the media is -- the young guns are coming through and they're the ones that are in the next couple of years, and then the guys over 40 are doing well, so they're jumping on the band wagon back and forth.

The guys playing well in their 40s, they're good players, they've been out here a long time, they have a lot of experience. The only difference now compared to 30 or 50 years ago is we do realize with the equipment and staying fit that you can expand your career. A lot of guys are looking forward to the Champions Tour, as well, so they're taking better care of themselves. They're exercising, eating better, looking out for themselves more and that's why they can compete longer.

Q. What do you think about your Ryder Cup counterpart going into the broadcast booth, Hal Sutton, with ABC?

BERNHARD LANGER: It's fine with me.

End of FastScripts.

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