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THE SENIOR OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY ROLEX


July 24, 2013


Bernhard Langer


SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND

STEVE TODD:  Bernhard, thanks for joining us.  Your thoughts on being here at Royal Birkdale?
BERNHARD LANGER:  Good golf course, it's a lot of doglegs where you have to shape the ball and keep it in the fairway, and maybe one of the most demanding driving courses you'll see around the world.
STEVE TODD:  In 2010 you won this tournament, and your form has been impeccable the last few years and in America.  Do you feel ready to win another one?
BERNHARD LANGER:  Well, I'd like to.  Obviously it's stiff competition.  Every year that's new guys coming out and the old ones don't go away.
So there's a lot of great champions here, and it's going to take some really good golf to lift the trophy by Sunday.  Hopefully that will be me, but as I said, there's probably 60, 80 other guys that have the same chance.  And I think it's going to be someone that hits a lot of fairways and obviously got to make some putts.

Q.  Last year, very dramatic final round; how much did it haunt you at the time, and how much does it drive you to go one better this year?
BERNHARD LANGER:  Both.  It hurt at the time because I was playing very good golf the whole week, and then it just kind of unraveled on the last few holes with some bad shots, bad breaks.  And so it hurt at the time but then at the same time, that confirms that I have the game to be up there and I've just got to close the deal and finish it off.
So in partial, it's encouraging and in another way, it was disappointing.

Q.  I think I'm right in saying that you've played with Monty in his two senior Majors so far.  How would you assess his game?  Is it as good as it was maybe five years ago?
BERNHARD LANGER:  You know, I didn't play with him much five years ago, but he's still striking the ball very well.  He's driving it well and hits a lot of good shots.  Obviously there's at odd lapse like we all do and we all have.  That's golf, and old age seems to bring more out of that in us.  But he still has the game.
I was paired, as you said, both tournaments, the first two rounds with him, and I saw quite a bit of him.  He's going to win some tournaments out here and he's going to be in contention.

Q.  How is your own game at the moment?  Are you playing just as well as ever?  Is there any department that concerns you?
BERNHARD LANGER:  Well, I had a really good start to the year.  And then the last sort of three months, it's been just, you know, running on three cylinders, not all four in a sense.  There are days where I go quite low, but have one or two rounds where I go over par, and you can't win if you do that.  You need to stay under par or around par.
In the Majors, it's a little different because maybe it's a tougher setup and you have four days, but on the average tournament, you've just got to have three good rounds to win.
So there have been‑‑ on the odd occasion, I didn't strike it well enough, or my short game wasn't good enough, so.¬† I need to get all parts together to have any hope of winning and lifting the trophy.

Q.  Tom Watson was saying, too, that these are the same tees the kids played on in The Open in 2008.  Did you get that impression, as well?
BERNHARD LANGER:  Yeah, I do.  I wasn't here in 2008 but I was here in '98, and I think we played the exact same tees in '98 as far as I know.  They might even be one or two new tees now that are further back that we use.
A good example is No. 6, a little smaller tee, 20, 30 yards further back, but that's for the par5 I suppose.  That's a pretty strong hole.  There's a couple other very stiff tests out there, and we don't play a par 5 until the 15th, and the two par 5s are no gimmies here.  They are not easily reached, and if you reach them, you've got to hit a very precise tee shot and ab even more precise second shot to have a chance to have any hope of making a putting surface in two.
There's very few birdie holes out here, that's what I'm trying to say.

Q.  You never seem to change physically.  You still look remarkably young.  Do you follow a very, very strict fitness regime?
BERNHARD LANGER:  No, I don't.  What I do every day is I stretch in the morning and I stretch in the evening.  And I do work out, more so when I'm home than when I'm on Tour.  On Tour, I do very light stuff, but when I'm off, I like working out and I feel good when I do it.
But I'm not on a strict diet that it's a regimen every day for an hour or two; no, that's not the case.  I do stretch; very beneficial.

Q.  As an individual sport, each player can make their own decisions, but if Bernhard Langer had won the last two senior Majors, any chance he would be here this week?  Kenny Perry is not here.
BERNHARD LANGER:¬† A little surprised that he's not, but I don't know what the reasons are, whether he had personal things going on.¬† Sometimes one of our children has something going on or there's a wedding‑‑

Q.¬† Race cars‑‑
BERNHARD LANGER:  Race cars, that's one of his great interests, and I guess he's just had a wonderful couple of months lately.  He's got quite a big lead in the Schwab Cup.  He's got a nice lead in the Money List, and he's already had a great year and we are only halfway through in a sense.  Everybody has different goals.

Q.  If it were the other way around, a European in the same position going to America wouldn't miss out on that chance, I don't think.
BERNHARD LANGER:¬† Probably not.¬† But again, it's everybody's choice.¬† You don't have to participate in certain tournaments and it's not an easy week to come over here just for one week, get over the jet‑lag and play in these conditions and all that kind of stuff.
Hey, most of the guys are here, so it's important to them and I think in general you have a very strong field.¬† I know Nick Price would be here if he was fit enough, and there's not many other players missing if I can remember.¬† You have multi‑Americans here, and you certainly have all the Europeans and the other top players around the world.
STEVE TODD:  Wish you the best of luck this week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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