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MISSISSIPPI GULF RESORT CLASSIC PRESENTED BY C SPIRE


March 20, 2014


Bernhard Langer


BILOXI, MISSISSIPPI

PHIL STAMBAUGH:  Okay, Bernhard, thanks for coming in this afternoon to the media center here.  You finished second last week, a win earlier this year, and you come in on a roll as you go 14 straight Top 10s and you're our Charles Schwab Cup leader.  A few thoughts about coming back to play Mississippi.
BERNHARD LANGER:  It's wonderful to be back here.  This is one of the really great tests of golf that we face week after week, but this one is pretty tough.  It's a great driving golf course and pretty severe greens, and when the wind blows, it becomes a really tough test.
Golf course is in great shape.  My game's in pretty decent shape, and I'm excited to be here and competing this weekend.
PHIL STAMBAUGH:  Okay.  We'll just go with questions real quick.  Just wait for the microphone.

Q.  You've gotten off to a really good start this year.  What's been the key or keys to the quick start for you so far?
BERNHARD LANGER:  Well, actually it's been similar the last, you know, six seven years I've had pretty good starts, and it's just been working on my game the last, you know, after my skiing break over Christmas, New Year's, came back and started working with my coach and just trying to get a little bit better, which is the unique thing in golf that you can get better as you get older.
I've played fairly consistent.¬† I had‑‑ you know, I had three chances to win.¬† I won one of them, so hopefully I can make it two this year‑‑ this week I'm trying to say, so as I said earlier, this is a tough test.¬† It's going to take a complete player to win here.¬† Gotta do everything well, and hopefully that will be me, but we'll find out in a few days.

Q.  I saw you finish on 18 and you made it look really easy.  Did that describe your day today or was today a tough day out there or how would you describe your round?
BERNHARD LANGER:  No.  The day was beautiful.  We had sunshine.  It was a little cold earlier and a little breezy and out of the north wind, so it was cold.  But as the day moved on, it turned into a fantastic day, and I enjoyed my amateur partner pro am, it's all about team competition and making sure they have a great time, so I try to focus on them and not on my own game, but I did make a nice birdie there on 18, and that's always better than making a bogey, I guess.

Q.  How key are those closing holes here?  You talked about just the challenge of the course in general, but it seems like those last three, four holes really can decide this tournament.
BERNHARD LANGER:¬† Yeah, especially, I think, 16, 17 are two really tough holes, and 18 can be pretty difficult and demanding as well, so like many golf courses, many of the architects seem to make the last couple of holes extremely tough, to create some excitement and, you know, have possibilities of two or three‑shot swings on any given hole.¬† And Fazio certainly did that here when he designed that golf course.

Q.  Just one last thing.  Having the success that you've had, especially the string of the Top 10s, how much does that help you as far as just confidence, just having been there, know what that's about on the final day, especially?
BERNHARD LANGER:  Well, it certainly helps.  I always say, you know, great play or success breeds confidence, and the more you're out there, the better it is and the easier it is.  It's difficult for somebody who is only on the leaderboard once every 20 weeks or something like that or has an opportunity to win once in two years.  That's pretty tough.  So it's definitely easier when you're in contention week after week.

Q.  What's the key to being that consistent?  Is I mean there's a consistency and then there's what you're doing.
BERNHARD LANGER:  There's a lot of keys.  It's not one thing.  First of all, you gotta be healthy so you can do what you're trying to do and work on the game.
Secondly, you need a pretty decent golf swing to be able to hit the ball long and straight, and then you've gotta have a good short game to match up the long game, and you gotta be thinking straight, and you know, be mentally tough and a bunch of other things.  You know, your course management has to be pretty good because as soon as you make a few mistakes, there is 20 guys snapping at your heels trying to go past you, and the Champions Tour has become extremely competitive, and there's only room for 81 of us on a weekly basis, and there's thousands out there who would love to be here.

Q.¬† One thing, I know the field has always been good here the first four years, but looking at‑‑ I mean the field looks like it may be the strongest it's ever been.¬† Do you kind of like that challenge of knowing that it's almost like a major in the sense of all the guys being here?
BERNHARD LANGER:¬† Always.¬† It always means more when you beat everybody there is, when you beat the best players in the world or on any tour, it means more than when some of them are not there.¬† And I haven't really looked at the strength of the field, but I'm not surprised that it's strong because you have a great golf course, you have a very well‑run tournament, and you know, the word goes around and the players show up, and it has a very good date on top of that.¬† We had a few weeks off and we're going to have a few weeks off after this.¬† It fits at a great time of year.
PHIL STAMBAUGH:  Anything from any others?  Everybody good?  Okay.  Bernhard, congratulations, and we'll wish you luck this week.
BERNHARD LANGER:  Thank you.  Appreciate it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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