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July 12, 2012

Bernhard Langer


THE MODERATOR:テつ Good afternoon, everybody.テつ 2010 Senior Open Champion Bernhard Langer is with us in the Media Center.テつ He posted a first round score of 4 under 66 and is one stroke off the lead behind Tom Kite.
You drove the ball extremely well today.テつ Talk about your round.
BERNHARD LANGER:テつ Went back to my old driver, which goes maybe a little straighter but a little shorter.テつ Made that decision about 20 minutes before I teed off.テつ Then my first tee shot went straight right into the bunker on No.1, right up against the lip.テつ I had to play sideways.テつ Not sure that was a good decision.
From that point on, I drove it really good.テつ I was very happy.テつ Hit lots of fairways.テつ Just hitting it exactly where I was looking.テつ That set me up for easier iron shots into the green.テつ Had a lot of opportunities early on, just missed a bunch of putts.テつ Either misread or misjudged it.テつ Finally, on the back side, I made a few.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Why don't we open it up to questions.

Q.テつ There's a terrific scrum at the top of the leaderboard.テつ About what you would expect here at a U.S. Open?
BERNHARD LANGER:テつ Well, you have a tremendous field.テつ There's so many great players and legends of the game.テつ It's a great test of golf.テつ You're not going to get a champion that's a fluke, in a sense.テつ It's going to be somebody that's won a lot of tournaments, I believe, and is a veteran in tournament competition.テつ I think you're going to see a great leaderboard on the weekend.

Q.テつ Bernhard, generally speaking, we see that more good rounds are usually shot in the morning, as the course is softer, than in the afternoon.テつ You put a good score together this afternoon, and you usually don't see as many good scores in the afternoon.テつ What are the keys that enable you to shoot 4 under?テつ We had some guys at 3 under.テつ Was it just no wind?
BERNHARD LANGER:テつ I think the course held up very well.テつ Conditions have been good throughout the day.テつ I don't know what conditions we had this morning.テつ I wasn't out there.テつ But we had anywhere from 5‑ to 15‑mile‑an‑hour winds this afternoon, a little gusty here and there.テつ Made it a little tricky but not severe.
I think the greens didn't bake out.テつ I believe they syringed them a little bit in the middle of the day, and that made them playable.テつ They got a little harder the last couple of hours, got some big bounces on certain parts of the greens later on.テつ But early on, they were reasonably soft and receptive.

Q.テつ How tricky were the greens still if you got above the hole?テつ Were they‑‑ not impossible, but were they really, really difficult?
BERNHARD LANGER:テつ No, they're certainly not impossible.テつ I actually left some short because I played Monday, and I played Tuesday, and I played nine holes Wednesday, and I actually thought they were faster on Monday than they were Tuesday and Wednesday.テつ But I don't know.テつ I didn't measure them.テつ Maybe I played early Monday, and they were freshly mown, and I played later on the next two days, and the grass grows a little bit during the day.
No, they were not ridiculously fast.テつ They were very fair, maybe rightly so, because the greens are very severe out here.テつ If they would get them to 13 or something, you would see balls never ending.テつ They'd just keep rolling and rolling in certain places.テつ So I think the setup is very good.
THE MODERATOR:テつ A lot of players commented and used the word precision to describe the key to this golf course.テつ Is that still the case, do you think?
BERNHARD LANGER:テつ It is the case.テつ It's the case off the tee.テつ You've got to be straight.テつ Then it's definitely with the irons too.テつ It's no good just blasting it somewhere on the green.テつ If you're in the wrong spot on the green, you're going to struggle.テつ You're going to be defensive.テつ You're just trying to two‑putt, even from 10, 12 feet away.
But the greens are that severe.テつ You need to try and get the ball below the hole.テつ That's not easily done, especially when you come in with a medium to longer iron.

Q.テつ You hit 17 greens.テつ Was that a function of really strong iron play, or was it a good position off the tee that allowed you to get there?
BERNHARD LANGER:テつ Both.テつ As I said, I drove the ball very well, which made it possible for me to put some spin on the ball from the middle of the fairway or from good lies on the fairway and have a couple of shorter irons into the greens than hitting it into the rough, where you usually have to take more club and you can't control the ball.テつ You get a flyer or it comes out soft.テつ So it was a combination of tee shots and iron shots.

Q.テつ How favorable were the pin positions today, and how much harder do you expect them to get?
BERNHARD LANGER:テつ I really don't know.テつ There were some tough ones, and then there were some easier ones.テつ I think this golf course, on certain holes, you don't have a lot of pin positions.テつ They're so severe.
A lot of greens slope like this on the sides and like that on the back.テつ So you can't use any of that area.テつ You have to put it somewhere where it's reasonably flat.テつ You can't put a pin on a slope, and the ball rolls six, ten feet away from the hole.
So I'm sure the USGA staff is very knowledgeable.テつ They have a lot of experience.テつ They'll do the right stuff.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Any additional questions?テつ Solid round.テつ Thanks for coming in.

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