What they said: Bernhard Langertext sizeMarch 11, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: Toshiba Classic transcript archive DAVE SENKO: Bernhard, 65, 6 under. You got to be pretty pleased coming back from that double and bogey at No. 6 to finish with 31 on the back nine.
BERNHARD LANGER: Yes, it was a really good start. Three birdies on the first three holes, then I hit one in the water. It actually landed on the bank but it rolled back in. That was a bad shot, but also a bit unlucky. And then one bad tee shot on 6 and ended up missing about a 7 footer.
The rest was really very solid. I putted pretty good. I started playing very well on the backside.
A little ticked off that I didn't birdie 18, because I had beautiful drive down there in the middle of the fairway with a hybrid and hit it in the left bunker. But otherwise no complaints.
DAVE SENKO: Maybe just go through your birdies starting on No. 8, the par 3, shot sequence on that.
BERNHARD LANGER: That was 5 iron to about 8 feet.
No. 1 was a 3 wood and a little pitch with a sand wedge from about 60 yards to about six feet.
The second was a 3 wood off the tee, a sand wedge to 15 feet, then driver, hybrid to the right of the green, pitch it up to about six feet.
DAVE SENKO: What did you hit on 4?
BERNHARD LANGER: 8 iron. Drove it in the water and dropped on, and sand wedge onto the green, two putts.
10 was a driver, pitching wedge, about an 18 footer.
13, was 6 iron to about two feet.
14, driver, pitching wedge, 12 foot.
15, driver, hybrid 2 putts from 22 feet.
16, driver, pitching wedge, seven feet.
DAVE SENKO: Questions?
Q. A lot of birdies out there today, conditions perfect??
BERNHARD LANGER: The conditions were nice. Just a little bit of wind, not more than 10 miles an hour, maybe 15 earlier on. Otherwise, the greens were pretty good. I putted good. Usually, I struggle a bit on poa annua greens but I made a lot of putts today. That's what kept it together. That's why I made so many birdies. Those three dropped shots were not great, certainly not the double bogey. You can always make a bogey somewhere, but not a double bogey on that hole. The rest was pretty good.
Q. Right club??
BERNHARD LANGER: I could have hit maybe a 7 (-iron). I pulled my 8 a fraction and it still came up a little short. It might have been a 7. The wind was blowing pretty bad at that point. I already allowed for 12 yards wind, and I guess it was more like 16, 17.
Q. Was the most frustrating parring 18??
BERNHARD LANGER: Besides the double bogey, yes. The double bogey was a long time ago. I already digested it already. It's always hard to come straight in here from the course. If you didn't do well on 18, it's always a tough one.
Q. You mentioned hybrid a lot, is that a new club in your bag??
BERNHARD LANGER: Nope. It's been in the bag for quite a while.
Q. Do you hit it more on a course like this??
BERNHARD LANGER: It just turned out that I needed hybrids a lot today on pretty much all of the par 5s. It just turned out that way. If the wind is different tomorrow and my drives are different, it could be a 3 wood or 3 iron. It was just that distance.
Q. Nine birdies. What's the most you have had in a round, birdies??
BERNHARD LANGER: More than that. I shot 60 in the German Masters once, and I had a bogey in that, probably 13. I don't know. I might have had an eagle in there too.
Q. Seeing what Martin (Kaymer) is doing right now, I know you have a relationship with him before you became No. 1, but seeing what he is doing now does that motivate you at all in any way?
BERNHARD LANGER: Not really. I don't need more motivation. I think it's great, what he is doing. It's fantastic, the way he has progressed the last three or four years. He is real. He's going to hang around. I'm very happy for him. It came along just at the right time, when I left the regular TOUR, he hit the scene with some very good scores and some wins. It's perfect for German golf.
Q. Do you think this is going to bring along a lot more junior players now??
BERNHARD LANGER: I sure hope so, but nobody could guarantee that.
Q. Why hasn't what happened, Bernhard??
BERNHARD LANGER: Good question, very good question. I don't have the answer.
Q. You don't??
BERNHARD LANGER: I don't know, no. I really don't. First of all, Germany, golf is not a big sport. Less than one percent play golf. That's a key. There is a lot of private clubs. So if you are not a son or a daughter of parents who are members at a private club, how are you going to get to golf?
We have very few public facilities. We have no golfing schools, pretty much zero. Might be one or two. Not like here, where you play golf in most high schools and most colleges. It doesn't exist in Germany. All of that adds up to very few golfers.
Q. Do you think that the emphasis put on trying to get the Ryder Cup for Germany is going to create more and more influence, and now with the Olympics being there??
BERNHARD LANGER: All of that will help. I don't know what the future brings. I'm not a future teller. I can only take a wild guess and hope the success of Martin Kaymer will help. The Olympics will help. The Ryder Cup will help, if we even get it. So we'll see. We will know more in 5-10 years.
Q. That's a long time.
BERNHARD LANGER: It will take that long. You don't get youngsters picking up the game and immediately even if some do, it's going to take years before they become good. The problem is, still, soccer is overpowering everything in Germany. All of the boys play soccer and the other athletics, and golf, you can't even see golf on national television. So how are you going to get youngsters to play golf? Not one tournament is on national TV. They are on the pay channels. That's terrible.
Q. Do you think there is a similarity between what happened in tennis with (Boris) Becker and with you coming along, and now there is a second wave in Martin, which is the same thing. Tennis went down too, but now it's coming back a little bit?
BERNHARD LANGER: I don't know. I don't know if we can compare it to tennis because tennis took off when Becker won. Now it's declining, or has been for 10 years, five years. Golf is steadily growing. It continues to grow, not to the extent as tennis.
You can find a tennis court in every little town. I come from a town of 800 people, we have three tennis courts. You don't find a golf course in every town. Every town has a soccer field and every town has a tennis court that's why you have kids playing that sport.