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April 18, 2010

Bernhard Langer


PHIL STAMBAUGH: We have our tournament winner, Bernhard, congratulations on winning the 2010 Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. It was a break from Mother Nature that you win your second event in 2010, and your 10th Champions Tour title. Maybe just a few comments about the day, and has this ever happened to you before like this.
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, yeah, it happens all the time. When you play golf, you play out in weather and nobody controls weather, and we are going to get rain. We need rain at times and at times it's too much. So it's happened before; it will happen again.
I feel sorry for the tournament organizers, because so much work goes into a tournament like this, and for all of the spectators who are looking forward to another great day of golf. But, you know, again, nobody controls it. So I just feel bad for them.
And on the other hand, Florida has been very good to me this year. I've had now two wins and they were both in Florida. So making up for it the last few years when I probably didn't do so well in Florida.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: I guess talk about that birdie you made at 18. Did you have any idea at the time that you thought it was going to be as big as it was?
BERNHARD LANGER: No, I really had no clue, because the forecast we had earlier in the week or middle of the week was actually not that bad for today. It sounded like a ten or 30 percent chance at rain. I never at first had any doubts that we wouldn't play 54 holes.
But just to make birdie on 18 is a double-bonus, because it's one of the hardest holes, and the pin position that we had yesterday was extremely tough. I hit a really nice 6-iron in there and somebody said it hit the flag, hit the hole, and bounced about five feet or whatever.
So it was almost a deuce, but in the end I was happy to have my birdie. But I had no idea that it was going to be the deciding birdie or shot. Otherwise, we would have had, what, a three-way tie right now. I don't know what we would be doing with that. I'm glad I made the birdie.

Q. Have you ever won a tournament in this fashion?
BERNHARD LANGER: With the rain delay? Yes, I have.

Q. And what were you doing in the locker room during that whole time?
BERNHARD LANGER: We pretty much knew it was going to be pretty much just sit around and wait. And what normally happens is every half hour to an hour, the official comes in and says this is the situation. We have a professional weatherman with us that pays attention to the radar; he predicts what's coming our way, what's not.
When it's bad, they just hold you for another half hour, for another hour, another half hour, until they run out of time. They only have so much daylight to work with; I'm sure you already heard that, but we needed to be out there by 2:00 or 2:30 because we were the last group. We only played one hole and we needed five more hours of daylight, and when it's overcast, it's going to be dark around 7:30. At 2:30 we had to be ball in the air, and as long as it's raining, the course is not going to dry up.
So we just sat around, tried to stay loose and limber and you know, you go with the flow. You go whatever they say. You have to be ready, because if they say, okay, it looks like it's clearing up -- and that's happened before, too; we want you out there in 20 minutes. You've got to be out there in 20 minutes, ball in the air. That means loosening up again and all that kind of stuff. And so we were basically waiting for the good news or the bad news or any news.

Q. Do you mind winning a tournament like this, or would you rather have played?
BERNHARD LANGER: I think all of us would rather, you know, win it outright, but I don't mind it. I actually had to share two tournaments, one with Seve and one with Montgomerie, because we were involved in Playoffs, one at the Troph√ɬ©e Lanc√ɬīme. Seve and I had a four-hole playoff and it got dark Sunday night. And now the question was, you guys want to come back tomorrow; that was basically put to us. The television people didn't care. The promoters didn't care whether we called it a tie or whether we come back Monday morning.
And it's kind of anticlimactic; there's not many people out there and the whole thing, and you've got the golf course was already sold to some other people and the whole thing. I had to be in Japan and Seve had to be somewhere else. So you know, we looked at each other and talked about it for a few seconds and said, well, let's just share it, I guess, and we shared the title.
And the same thing happened with Colin Montgomerie and myself at the Volvo Masters. We had two holes of playoff and same thing; it got so dark and we couldn't see. All sorts of weird stuff happens out on golf courses.

Q. Your thoughts on Mark O'Meara's chip-in, for the tieing birdie that doesn't count now, and what were your thoughts at the time and did you think that was going in when you saw it? You said it was skidding on the way in.
BERNHARD LANGER: It was going pretty rapidly. He hit actually a very good second shot and the ball came out of the rough and the ball released and went over the green and down the bank and it was a very difficult pitch. He landed it pretty good, but it was going pretty fast, pretty hard, and it would have, I would have guess, maybe ten feet by if it had not hit the stick, or more.
But it hit hole and went in. So I walked over and gave him a high-five and said, "Great shot." It was a great shot. That's what golf is all about. You get some good breaks and some bad ones. So, you know, he holed his pitch shot and I missed my -- whatever I had.
I had to actually move my ball. I was in a puddle of water and I had to move it about four or five feet to the right which made it more -- actually a more-breaking putt. And I missed it. But there was lots of holes left and we don't know what the outcome might have been once -- if we had been able to play 54 holes.
But bottom line is, it's another second for him. And I feel bad for him that he has not won yet because he's definitely played well enough to do so. And I'm convinced his time will come. But it just shows on the other hand how difficult it is to win on this tour, you know, if you have someone like Mark O'Meara and a bunch of others who actually have not won a tournament yet, and the calibre of players they are.

Q. Can you elaborate a little bit more on how you kill time during a rain delay like that? You said you loosen up, but the locker room gets a little bit crowded with everybody stretching out?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, I actually went to the family dining room, because I had my family, they were here this weekend, my daughter and my son, my wife -- actually, both my sons. So we just sat at a big table and you know, talked for a little bit, ate a little bit, talked some more and then we actually started playing a card game just to kill time, basically. And I got up a few times and moved around, stretched a little bit, because I have a tendency to get pretty stiff if I sit still for hours.
And that's really all there was, and just listening to the announcements every hour or half hour and watching The Weather Channel a little bit, you know, what the radar looked like, and that didn't look too promising. But you never know. That stuff can build or dissipate any time.

Q. Do you have any comments on the giant volcanic cloud that's cancelled flights from Europe to this country and has it affected you in any way?
BERNHARD LANGER: It has not affected me so far, as I'm living over here in Florida and plan to be here for a while. Planning a trip to Europe in June, but hopefully it won't last that long.
I feel, again, very bad for all of the people that have been affected. I heard thousands and thousands of flights have been cancelled.
So, you know, people are stranded or they had planning to go somewhere and they couldn't do it. That's just one part of it. Obviously we don't know what kind of effect it will have on the environment and anything else. The airlines, it must be costing them millions. You know, the thing is on and on and on.
So I have not heard a whole lot about it. But it's pretty amazing what kind of impact an event like that can have.

Q. You mentioned that you had to actually move your putt on the first green; when you've got that much water on the first hole, do you kind of figure this may not -- this may not go to conclusion at that point? I know you have to be ready, but at that point when you're already out there, and Mark said on the second green you guys were looking at the group ahead of you and they couldn't putt, either?
BERNHARD LANGER: I had no idea, because again, I didn't know the forecast and what is coming this way. It's basically been raining nonstop since I was here at 7:30, 7:15 and it's been raining ever since.
You know, I hit balls in the rain, I putted in the rain, I played in the rain, and it's not going to -- the course is not going to get better as long as it's coming down. But I had no idea how much rain there was on the way, and I want to keep a mind-set that I probably will have to go out there and play, because I don't want to be disappointed going out there. I want to be out there playing and competing, so I didn't let my thoughts even go there.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Congratulations. Thank you, Bernhard.

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