PNC Championship

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Orlando, Florida, USA

The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club

Bernhard Langer

Jason Langer

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Record-tying fifth victory. How special is this?

BERNHARD LANGER: Very special. Just it's always special whether you win or not, just being here is like the Olympics. They only take 20 teams and there's probably 25 on the waiting list that would love to be here. It's always a wonderful thing to get an invitation to come and play here, and as you all know, I've got four kids, played with all four of them, and we have a lot of wonderful memories.

Also, from now on, I'm on vacation. So this is a bonus here. When this tournament is over, we're heading tomorrow to Europe to Germany and spend time over there.

Q. Your third victory here. How much fun was this week for you?

JASON LANGER: It was a ton of fun. I said it earlier, but I don't get to play as much golf anymore, and I don't get to see my parents and my family quite as much anymore. To be able to play golf as a family and in a beautiful spot and great competition and play a really good golf course, it's amazing.

Q. When you came down early to practice, crash course to get ready, how much time did you spend putting?

JASON LANGER: A good bit. We know putting is one of the biggest parts of playing well in this format. So on Wednesday and Thursday, and a little extra time this morning on the putting green as well. That was the difference.

BERNHARD LANGER: Couldn't practice yesterday with the rain obviously. But yeah, it was incredible. Watching him put, it was unbelievable. The ball started on line every time, and it missed, that's because I misread the green. Otherwise he probably would have made them all.

Q. How did it come to be that you were the child that plays weekend?

JASON LANGER: So in years past, I'm the youngest of four of my other three siblings, they are all married and have kids. They are at a bit of a different stage of life than me. In years past, multiple people wanted to play and we were all sort of playing golf and we wanted to play. Maybe had a qualifier one year or we kind of alternated. This year, no one was really vying for this other than me, and I got the nod.

BERNHARD LANGER: Nobody really said, well, let Jason go, because the others have all little babies and were busy and they all felt like he should play. We're happy he did.

Q. Is this bragging rights? Do you rub it in with your siblings?

JASON LANGER: Not too much. I was -- yeah, I was saying earlier that, yeah, it's always nice to have something on my older brother. The good one was being the youngest winner here because he can never take that one back. Is but this one's nice, too.

Q. Given the conditions and starting three shots behind, what kind of score did you think you would need today? Bernd?

BERNHARD LANGER: Well, I knew it was going to blow like crazy and I figure the scores would not be as low as they were yesterday. Setting out, if we could get 10-under today to about 22, we might have a shot at it.

But it all turned out totally different. The Kuchars putters turned cold and their game went cold, and we actually caught them after three holes, and then surpassed them on the fourth hole or the fifth. It was just a matter of, can we continue making birdies, and we did.

Coming down the back nine, we had a great start on 10, 11, 12. I think we birdied all of them, and then I looked up at leaderboard, and we had a three-shot lead and it went to four-shot lead and it was a matter of just no more mistakes or no mistakes period. Just make par or birdie, and he kept rolling the putts in. So it was a no-brainer.

But we were never in trouble. In past years, we would make a bogey in there or something silly; that there was no chance. We were just always in a good spot where we had a birdie putt or an eagle putt, and his putter got really hot and that made the difference.

Q. One shot on 5, the par 5, were you worried?

BERNHARD LANGER: Well, I was slightly worried because I didn't see the ball land because the reads were high, or the grass. But I knew I had hit it good enough to, I knew exactly what I had to carry the water. And I figured I was either in the trap or just short in the bank, and that's where it turned out. But.

Yeah, it was within two or three yards, and if that had gone wet, then we both would have been in the water and that would not have been a good situation.

JASON LANGER: That was the one place where I thought we may have been in a little trouble, just because I was hitting first and I was in the water, and then his was a little left, not as bad as mine.

BERNHARD LANGER: But it turned out it was in a good place. Easy chip. Didn't short-side or anything. It was an easy chip, easy birdie, real.

Q. If I'm not mistaken, the first invitation, you got, the Floyds had already won this thing five times, so when you take a look at that record back then, did you think that five was attainable?

BERNHARD LANGER: No, I didn't think so. We were just excited to be a part of the tournament, and I know the Floyds had a great record here, and Larry Nelson with his boys did very, very well.

Then, you know, the kids used to play all the way back. I remember playing with his older brother when he was 12, Stefan, and he had to play 7,000 yards or 7,100 yards.

So I think what they have done the last couple years, creating four or five tees, really made everybody competitive out here. No matter who plays, they have a chance. Everybody can move the tee ball out there where they have a medium short iron into the green and they can compete if they make the putts. I think that's a wonderful thing they did the last few years. Because in years past, there were five or six teams had no chance. It was just too long.

Q. At what point, if at all, did five, tying the Floyds, and now surpassing the Floyds become a goal? Did it ever become a goal?

BERNHARD LANGER: Really wasn't. I didn't even know Floyd had won five. I knew he won at least three or more. So that was not the goal. The goal was really to have fun. This is a tournament about family and fun. Maybe if we play well, we might be in contention that. Would be a bonus. So it all came together.

Q. Tiger said your longevity is more than amazing. He recalled playing with you in 1994. Do you remember this, the Johnnie Walker --

BERNHARD LANGER: I played with Tiger probably.

Q. -- at the Johnnie Walker?

BERNHARD LANGER: Ten, 12 times. First time was Johnnie Walker overseas, yeah. He was like 18 or something. I think his coach or somebody was caddying for him. That's one thing I remember. Tiger hit a bunker shot on to the green or something, and the coach just picked the ball up and cleaned it and Tiger didn't Mark it. He didn't have a chance to mark it yet.

So Tiger, "Where's my ball? I never marked it."

But anyways, at 18, I could tell he was very special. He was special already, and at that time, he was a skinny, you know, skinny rail of a kid. He wasn't like he is now built and strong and all that.

But he was healthy, had tremendous clubhead speed and a hunger for the game and just you knew he was going to do more than most, and he certainly has.

Q. People have talked about it many times how golf crosses generations. Is it cool to 30 years later be back here with Tiger, when you think about that?

BERNHARD LANGER: Of course it is. It's cool to be anywhere where Tiger plays because he moves the needle, and there's more interest, there's nor spectators, more TV or any of that stuff.

He's an incredible athlete, and you know, he was unbelievable before he got hurt, and now even with all the surgeries he's had, and he's come back and he's come back, and he's still incredible. He's fun to watch. He can still move the ball amazing distances and gets very focused.

But you know, I mentioned this earlier. For Tiger to play how many tournaments this year, four? Three, four, five? It wasn't more than that. To play this, and last year, and maybe the year before, it means a great deal. Shows how much it means to Tiger to play with his son, Charlie, here, and elevates this PNC championship to it bigger heights.

Q. Given your remarkable longevity and the success you've had year after year after year, it's not unreasonable to think that you could play this with one of your grandchildren one day, is it?

BERNHARD LANGER: Actually, funny you mentioned that. We brought it up walking 18. My caddie who, is my son-in-law, Chase, said, "Where is the fourth tee box?" Because we were -- I was playing No. 3, and there was another tee box like 50 yards up behind the trees.

He goes, "I'm going probably up there." He goes, "Wow, who plays up there?"

I said, "I think it's Trevino and one of the children."

He goes, "How old do you have to be to get up there?"

"No idea. Maybe 75, 80."

So then we were saying, he says, "Well, you'll be up there in a few years with one of the grandkids still chasing it." So we'll see.

How old do you have to be to get up there? Does anybody know?

Q. I think you can make up your own rules when you've won five times, though.

BERNHARD LANGER: I like that one, thanks.

Q. Obviously you had your 4th win on the Champions Tour this year. How special is this week compared to that week, and is this the perfect icing on the cake?

BERNHARD LANGER: Yeah, they are all very unique and very special. This is totally different. When I won the U.S. Senior, it was kind of my own victory, my caddie and me.

But this is a family affair. I wouldn't have won it without him because he made far putts than I would ever make and played some really good shots. This is a team event. The other one was individual. So totally different. But both very unique and very special in their own way.

Q. Curious with your vacation coming up, what's the difference between Christmas dinner in Germany and when you're home in West Palm?

BERNHARD LANGER: The temperature to start off with (laughing).

Q. What about the food? What would you typically have at home?

BERNHARD LANGER: Duck. Most Germans would eat duck probably. But it varies.

But yeah, we look forward to be home skiing for a couple of days and spend time in the snow. It was the weirdest thing for me when I came over here to live in America and married a woman from Florida, and spending Christmas Day in 80 degrees of weather was kind of, this is not Christmas, you know. I always related Christmas with cold and snow or ice or something like that. But we got used to it. So it will be nice to go back and see some of my family.

Q. Where is the trophy?

BERNHARD LANGER: At our house. Some in the office. Somewhere the trophies are.

JASON LANGER: They are scattered around.

Q. Are you keeping yours? Are you taking it back to New York?

JASON LANGER: We haven't figured it out. But I currently have left my other ones in their house.

BERNHARD LANGER: He's got a small place.

JASON LANGER: Not too much room.

BERNHARD LANGER: There's room for that but not for the big box.

Q. How old is your oldest grandchild?


Q. It's going to be awhile.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
139773-1-1003 2023-12-17 22:23:00 GMT

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