ACE Group Classic interview: Bernhard LangerFebruary 15, 2013
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PHIL STAMBAUGH: Okay, Bernhard Langer shoots 29 on the back nine and matches his career low on the Champions Tour. Bernhard shot it at 2007 in the first round of the Administaff Small Business Classic and in the final round last year of the 3M Championship, won both events. So you're off to a good start, 33 on the front and then you really got going on the back nine. Just tell us about the day.
BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, thanks, Phil. I started off pretty solid, hit some good shots the first few holes, just couldn't convert the putts, and then made one finally on No. 5, hit a 7-iron to about 15 feet, and No. 6, I hit driver, hybrid layup, and then hit I think it was a pitching wedge, might have been an 8-iron, can't remember. Anyways, hit it to about six feet, made that putt.
Then 7 played very long, just a regular par.
8, I hit a good 7-iron to about five feet for second shot.
Then 10 was the highlight when I hit 3-wood off the tee and slam-dunked a 9-iron straight into the cup. Just heard a lot of noise when it hit the flag and cup. Sometimes they bounce out and go all over the place, but this one stayed in so that was nice.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Do you remember your yardage?
BERNHARD LANGER: 128 meters, that's 141 yards. And then following hole, 11, I actually pitched my 7-iron three inches from the cup, almost did the same thing again, and rolled to about five feet and made that one.
13 was driver, 3-wood, two putts from about 35 feet.
14 was driver, 8-iron to about seven feet.
And 15, what does 15 look like? Oh, yeah, that was driver, pitching wedge to about 10 feet.
Then 16 was a 6-iron to about 15 feet.
Had a chance on 17 but missed a putt, it wasn't real close.
18 was just a normal par.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Were you thinking at all about 59 there after the birdie at 16?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, yeah, 17 last year, I made three eagles in a row there. So I was thinking even though it's wet and the course is playing much longer, if I really hit a great tee shot down there, might get there with a 3-wood but slightly miss-hit my tee sheet and that was just about 10 yards too far away to go for it, so laid up, and then my third shot didn't get close enough. I had to finish eagle-birdie to get there and that's not an easy task. No. 18 played pretty long. I hit driver, 4-iron in there, and as I said, 17 I couldn't reach after that drive.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: We'll just go to questions, wait for the microphone if we can.
Q. Other than changing your clothes, with the weather, did you have to make any adjustments today?
BERNHARD LANGER: No, the weather was the same all day. I had this sweater on, it's a little thicker, and I left this behind. I had this actually laid out to take with me and left it behind rushing out of the room, and then called my wife and said, Would you bring it? She said, Yeah, I'll bring it. But then she didn't show up until the 10th hole. But since it's her birthday today, I had better forgive her. That's why I changed on the 10th hole, because I was way too hot in this thing and I would have been too cold without one. I'd rather be hot than cold.
Q. You were hot.
BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, more than in one way, right?
Q. Your play has been tremendously consistent over the years. Is there anything you can tell us about why you're so consistent?
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, it's pretty simple, I guess. You try to hit a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, hit it as close as possible and make some putts. It sounds very simple, but when you look at the statistics, especially last year, I was extremely consistent. In just about every category I was up in the Top 3, Top 5, I led a couple of categories. And if you can do that, if you're good in driving distance as well as accuracy, I was up there, and then I hit a lot of greens in regulation, my putting was pretty good, my short game was good. So if you're in the Top 5 or 10 in all these categories, your scores should be good, and if your scores are good, you should win tournaments and do well.
Q. It seems to be more of a mental attitude.
BERNHARD LANGER: Well, my attitude has always been good, I think, my whole career. There are times when we all have bad days, but my attitude's been pretty good. I know I only have so many years left, you know, playing professional golf, so I want to be out here having fun and enjoying the golf courses, enjoying my golf, enjoy the camaraderie that I have with a lot of the fellow competitors and their families and the friends that I have. And it's been a wonderful ride out here on the Champions Tour. I really enjoy it. I don't miss the PGA TOUR or the European Tour. This is a lot of fun.
Q. I believe you hit today 16 of 18 greens. During this streak you've had, has that been pretty typical?
BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, I think the last few years I was, you know -- I'm not a great guy for following statistics, but every once in a while I look at them and I think the last few years I've been ranked in the Top 3 in greens in regulation, or Top 5. If you can putt decent, you're going to be there a number of times.
Q. How's it feel to have this kind of a lead with the expected weather that's coming?
BERNHARD LANGER: I don't even know what's the second-best score. I haven't looked.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: 65.
BERNHARD LANGER: So three-shot lead? Three shots is nothing, it really isn't. Yeah, I'd like to have a three-shot lead with two holes to play, then it would be a lot. But we still have 36 to play, and especially with weather coming in, or wind. The weather is probably out of here by tomorrow, I think, but the wind will kick up, which makes this course generally higher, but it gives other guys the chance to maybe sneak closer if they have a great day.
Q. Talk about your start. You're even after four holes, but I mean, you've been playing well, you've played well on this course. Was that in your mind? You had 14 holes left to --
BERNHARD LANGER: As I said, I hit the ball pretty well so it wasn't like I had to really be too worried about my game. I hit a great tee shot on 1, I hit a super 8-iron to about 10 feet and misread the putt. And then I hit a great 3-iron on 2 to about 20 feet and didn't make it. 3, I didn't hit a good tee shot, so that was disappointing because I could have reached that in two and I couldn't from where I was. But then 4 I hit a couple of good shots and just lipped out. So it was just a matter of being patient and it can happen in golf.
Then finally I made a putt on 5 and I told Mark O'Meara and Kenny Perry, Okay, the lid is off, let's go. Sometimes you feel like there's a lid on the hole and you just hit edges and we all did. I mean, they were missing shorter putts than I did the first four holes and it just felt like we couldn't make anything and then we finally all got going. It was a pretty good three-ball to watch with O'Meara 5-under and Perry 4-under, I think.
PHIL STAMBAUGH: Anything else? Good luck tomorrow, Bernhard.
BERNHARD LANGER: Appreciate it. Have a good evening.