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August 1, 2010

Bernhard Langer


Q. Congratulations.
BERNHARD LANGER: Thank you. I appreciate it.

Q. What was No. 2 like? What was it like leaving that hole after hole No. 1?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, on No. 1 Freddie hit three perfect shots and made a birdie there and got the crowd all crazy, even more than -- wired up than before. But I was just happy to get it up and down. I thought I hit a pretty good second shot into 1 and took a huge bounce over and then I had a straight down little chip, played as good as I could, and it went 12 feet by. I was still further away than he was. I was happy making par.
And then I hit two great shots on No. 2. I had an eagle putt from about 15 feet or so and he laid up because he was in the rough. And then just hit it a little fat and the third shot which is not easy to catch it right, because he had to come over the water, and there was a knob in front of the hole and then another kind of knob behind it, which would have worked as a backstop, but he just caught it heavy, I guess.
And then he hit it a little long and ended up making 8. So that was a huge swing in my favor. But even at that point I was, what, three shots ahead at that point, that's nothing when you have 16 holes to go. And when you play against Fred Couples. So I knew I had to stay focused and play quality golf, play solid shots and hopefully make some putts and I did just that. I birdied the very next hole when he hit it close, too, and just didn't make many mistakes. Whenever I did hit a wayward shot I was able to get it up and down, whether it was a 9 out of the bunker or somewhere else or I had to make 2-putts from long range. But I stuck with my strategy. I attacked certain holes that I felt that I could get to the pins and played to the middle of the green on some, where I felt even a good shot wouldn't -- I wouldn't benefit from going at the flag, because it would take a big bounce and go somewhere off the green. So it worked out pretty good.
Freddie played very solid. If you take that 8 that he made and put that into a 5 or 4, he would have been right there.

Q. Are you surprised when he laid up on 2?
BERNHARD LANGER: No, not at all, because he was in the rough and he had to -- coming out of the rough with a very long club. You can't get a lot of spin on it. Even if he would have hit the green which would have been tough to do, the ball probably wouldn't have stayed on it, it would have run through. No, I was not surprised.

Q. How about when he chunked it, was that shocking to you?
BERNHARD LANGER: A little bit, but, you know, I've done it. It happens to most of us. They're pretty tight fairways out there, certain areas there's not a whole lot of grass there and it doesn't take much to -- when you only have five yards to work with and that's about what he had, and it's easily done.

Q. It's been a long road, just the emotions now, and you've got --
BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, it still has to sink in. It's hard to believe I won two back-to-back Majors with an eight-hour time change in between and two very challenging golf courses. I'm very pleased. Probably played some of my best golf these last two weeks from tee-to-green, as well as on the green. This week I really putted well, all week long. I just had good touch, even when I had downhill putts; I didn't leave them ten feet short or ripped them ten feet by, and that's the key out here.

Q. Will you take some time off now?
BERNHARD LANGER: No, I've got to play next week, 3-M, because I won it last year. I'm off to Minneapolis tomorrow.

Q. Had you hit driver on 11 earlier this week?
BERNHARD LANGER: Did I? Yeah, I've been hitting driver there all week long.

Q. Did you think at all about with your advantage at that point hitting 3-wood?
BERNHARD LANGER: No, I actually hit three very good tee shots there the first three rounds, and I felt if I can hook a driver down there I might have a 5-iron into the green or something, like yesterday. So I didn't want to give that advantage away or that, you know, possibility. If I hit 3-wood I still have to hit maybe a 3-iron or hybrid or 3-wood into the green.
With these tall trees, that's not the kind of shot you're looking for. So I was just trying to rip it down there. But I hooked it too much and hit the tree.

Q. What did you think when you heard it hit?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, I was actually surprised because it didn't look that bad from where I was. It looked like it cleared the first tree, and then I saw it opened up, but there must have been a couple more behind that first one and it hit really hard. So you're at the mercy of the bounce at that point. But it did come back out onto the fairway. Could have just as well gone left into the tree. So that was a fortunate break.

Q. What was it like being the guy that the majority of the guy was rooting against today?
BERNHARD LANGER: It's never much fun, but I've had it before. When you play in the same group with Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer or any of the big names in America, when you play in America, certainly the Ryder Cups, I've played ten Ryder Cups, five on American soil, you get a lot more of this, you know. So I knew what was coming, which doesn't make it any easier.

Q. Did you change your approach on any of the final holes? Did you play as you would have if you had been tied?
BERNHARD LANGER: The last hole I hit driver normally, but I figured when I saw Freddie up in the rough I thought maybe I should just hit 3-wood and hooked my 3-wood and at the last split second blocked it and hit it up there, as well, but had a reasonable lie and hit a good second shot.

Q. How did you play the last hole last week at Carnoustie, the 72nd?
BERNHARD LANGER: I had a three shot lead so I played for bogey -- actually I had a two shot lead, sorry.

Q. What did you hit off the tee?
BERNHARD LANGER: I hit 3-wood off the tee, laid up short of the bunkers. Once you hit it in the bunkers you might as well chip it out. I laid up short of the bunkers and left me options to either go for the green if I had to or lay it up. And I decided to lay it up because Corey Pavin, he was like 240 yards to the hole. He had to hit 3-wood, you know, and to make birdie with a 3-wood into that hole is very unlikely. So that was my strategy and it worked out.

End of FastScripts

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