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July 28, 2010

Bernhard Langer


PETE KOWALSKI: We'd like to welcome barn hard Langer to the interview area with us. Fresh off his victory at the Senior British Open at Carnoustie. Obviously your game is in shape, sir. Talk about the state of your game and, if you could, the impressions of the golf course.
BERNHARD LANGER: I played pretty nicely the last couple of days here, my practice rounds, swinging it pretty good. The golf course is in phenomenal shape, really, really good, great condition. It's really firming up. Some of these greens are rock hard, and even a 9-iron releases 10, 15 yards on the green. So if you're coming in with a 3- or 4-iron it's going to be magnified and just difficult to stop the ball.
So it will be interesting and a very tough test.
PETE KOWALSKI: Pretty stark transition from Carnoustie to Sahalee, does it take much to adjust?
BERNHARD LANGER: You think it is, but it really isn't. For the eye it is, because there weren't many trees at Carnoustie, but you still had pot bunkers, you still had to hit it straight. And it's the same thing here. Visually it looks different, but you still have to hit the shot where you're looking.

Q. Tom Lehman talked about perhaps it's a little soft on the approach, on maybe the shoulder of the green, which you don't get the hard bounce. Do you find that true or is it hard all over?
BERNHARD LANGER: No, a lot of the greens you're just trying to land it on the front edge, because if you hit it in the middle of the green you're gone. So you aim for the small, narrow entrance of the green. And there is a couple of entrances that are a bit soft, so you land it short and it might stop. Most of them do release.
But, you know, that's the area we really have to aim for. It's a golf course where you can't go for the pins. Most of the pins are not accessible, not with the longer club, so you just try to hit it in the middle of the green hopefully and have a putt from there. The course plays very different when it's wet than when it's firm. I played it in 2002 and it was a lot less firm, and you know, attacked some of the pins; you can't do that now.

Q. You've been a world traveler and used to a lot of time zone adjustments. How does this one this week rank? Have you had any trouble getting adjusted with the time change, eight hours?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, everybody has trouble adjusting with eight hours. It's a terrible schedule; it really is. I think it's terrible that we, 50-year-olds, have to play back-to-back Majors. The young guys don't have to do it, and I don't understand why we would have to go through that. I think something should be done in the future to separate these two events.

Q. Following up on your answer, is this something that a lot of players -- it's obviously sort of happened a couple of times in recent years. Do you find a lot of players discussing it and hoping that something can change?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, definitely. Nobody likes to do that long trip. It took me 20 hours yesterday, or Monday, sorry, to travel from Scotland to here. That alone takes it out of you. And then an eight-hour time change. I haven't been sleeping good the last two nights, and nobody else has either that came from over there. You're up at 2 or 3 in the morning. Tomorrow I have a 1:00 tee time, which for my body is 9 p.m.
So I'm playing from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. more or less, tomorrow, which is not the ideal time to play golf under any circumstances, and certainly not in a Major on a golf course like this.
I just don't understand that, you know, the 50 and 60-year-olds have to go through that when the young guys don't have to do it. They would never consider doing it to the young guys, but they're doing it to us. It makes no sense.

Q. How many drivers do you think you'll hit on the course this week?
BERNHARD LANGER: It all depends on the tee locations and the wind and, you know, whatever I choose. I really don't know. It's not predetermined. There will be some, but not on every hole, that's for sure.

Q. You seem to be in tremendous physical condition. Could you tell us a little bit about your regimen that you've maintained for your physical health?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, I've had lower back problems from when I was 19 in the Air Force in Germany, so ever since then I have had to do stretching. I've always enjoyed working out, staying fit. It's not something I just do because I feel better; I just enjoy doing it. I'm not working out like Gary Player has or whatever, but I still stretch every morning, every evening and I have workouts in between, as well. So I just enjoy doing it. I feel better, and I have to with my back.

Q. You're a former Ryder Cup captain. I'm wondering if maybe you had any thoughts, if you'd paid much attention to the European team or maybe even the American teams forming and what kind of thoughts you have as that gets closer. Are you following it at all?
BERNHARD LANGER: I follow it a little bit, more on the European side, to tell you the truth, and especially since I was in Europe the last four weeks. I played a tournament there and had three weeks off, and played another tournament so I was five weeks over there. I talked to Monty a little bit, and he just did his assistant picks and all that stuff.
So the European or the British press is always interested in Ryder Cup stories. I think the European team is going to be very strong this year. A lot of young players. They should have a good team for many years to come, just because they have a lot of young talent and some great players coming up, I believe. To me they're going to be favorites, but I haven't had a close look at the American team so far.
PETE KOWALSKI: Thank you for your time.
Good luck this week, we hope to see you.

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