INTERVIEW – Bernhard Langer wins record fourth Senior Open title at the 33rd Senior Open at Royal Lytham beating paul Broadhurst by two shots.
Bernhard Langer Interview
Going back to the beginning of the day, tough conditions. You started this afternoon three back. What attitude did you bring to the golf course today?
I was trying to have a good attitude which is not easy when you see the forecast for the last couple of days. I knew it was going to be tough. The westerly wind, like what we had yesterday, makes this course very difficult.
Many holes are long already and now they are going to get even longer, and with the wet fairways and the wet greens, it’s just playing long, and I left a lot of putts short the first few days.
I knew they were going to be even slower today and I started off leaving them short but then I made my share. So, I was very fortunate on the greens today.
We talked earlier in the week and you said you got into a bit of a bad habit of making mental mistakes out there. Do you believe you did that today and eliminated them?
Yeah, I did eliminate. It wasn’t mental today. It was just a couple of bad swings, but I thought very well. My mind was working 100% all day long. I didn’t make any mental error at all; I made a bogey on 17 but I just pulled it a little bit. I think I had the right club, and I’m glad Terry, my caddie, pulled me off the driver on 18 and just said, “Let’s play it the safer but harder way” in a sense, and we hit two hybrids, two really good shots, and two putts for the par.
You must be so happy with how you played today.
Yeah, it was a wonderful round. Had it really going, 6-under par for 14 holes and then struggled a bit on the last few, but 15 is almost a par 5 and 17 was just a poor shot. Otherwise, it was a really awesome day. I made a bunch of putts today and avoided making bogeys or worse earlier on.
To have six birdies, would you say that was one of your best final rounds, considering the conditions?
Absolutely. The conditions were not very nice to play golf in, to say the least. Just held an umbrella most of the time. We started off a few holes without the rain, but it came down again.
We were very fortunate to finish the tournament, period, the way the weather’s been the last two rounds. I was just very blessed the way I started off. I was making a couple of putts.
One did a 360 and dropped in and another one from long range went in and I had not made a long putter all week. The putter was working very well, and I kept it out of the sand traps, out of the pot bunkers most of the day and that allowed me to go fairly low. But the theme of the week was really the strength of the Lord.
I have a pastor friend that comes to this tournament every year, and he gave me a little piece of paper every day with a Bible verse on it. That was the theme of the week and I felt that strength today.
You had a good birdie on 7, great tee shot on 8 and great birdie on 9…
Absolutely it was a fortunate break on 7 there — or was it 8, sorry. Fortunate break with my tee shot that it was still playable, but it was a tremendous putt from, I don’t know, 70 feet off the green, to putting it up to six inches and then I made the birdie putt on the next hole.
The putter was working. I had no three-putts today. My speed was much better, and I dropped a bunch of them.
Yeah, 14 was probably the highlight of the week. It was a very hard hole today, again, into the wind, so it took a good drive and 3-hybrid just to get near the green.
I holed about, I don’t know, a 65-foot putt maybe, 70-foot putt that to me looked like it was already past the hole. And I was turning around and in sort of disgust and disappointment, and then suddenly, I hear cheering.
I guess my vision isn’t good enough and it went in on the back door, so that was a big surprise.
How nice was it to walk down 18?
Well, it’s always special to walk down 18 in a major, but especially over here. The people are so knowledgeable about golf, and it’s tremendous how they even came out in these conditions and cheered us on in the rain.
So, it feels very special, whether it’s The Open or the Senior Open, to walk down 18 is always a wonderful feeling.
And to win on Tom Watson’s final Senior Open?
Yeah, that’s another bonus. You know, Tom is maybe the best links player ever that I’ve met, certainly in my era. He’s won so many Open Championships and Senior Opens.
He’s a fantastic wind player, and he does everything well. I wish him all the best — well, he’s not retiring yet. He’s just retiring from this tournament but wishes him all the best.
And to win your 11th senior major, it must mean a lot to you?
Yes, it does. There’s nobody in the game so far has won more than nine, and this is my 11th, so it means a great deal to have done something that nobody else has done, not even the great Jack Nicklaus or Gary Player, or we can go down a long list, the Tom Watsons and on and on.
Now having won 11 senior majors, it means a great deal. There’s a lot of great players who have played this game and have played majors, and I’ve been blessed to have won more than any of them.
Did you feel like you got back to the game that Bernhard Langer is used to playing?
Yeah, I hit a lot of good shots, even the last few weeks. Just there were a bunch of not so good ones in there, two or three a day, and then there were a couple of awkward putts that I normally make. And today, it all came together. My putter was red-hot.
I made a bunch of putts that I don’t make every day, and I didn’t three-putt, and that’s a big key around these big greens. You’re sometimes 60, 80 feet away and I had a couple of those putts, and my speed was very good today.
I kept it out of the pot bunkers off the tee for the most part, so that helped me, as well. The driver worked pretty good and putter worked, and when that happens, you have a chance.
Congratulations from Team OMNIA to Bernhard Langer on winning The Senior Open 2019 at Royal Lytham 2019.