Langers Focus in Texas Not Ireland


2006 Valero Texas OpenSAN ANTONIO -- When he served as European Ryder Cup captain two years ago, Bernhard Langer couldn't watch every match. He hopes he has the same problem this week at the Texas Open.
'I'd love to watch as much of the Ryder Cup as I can on TV,' Langer said. 'But my main focus will be on this tournament and to play golf well.'
The Texas Open, the fifth-oldest event on the PGA TOUR, starts Thursday on the 6,881-yard, par-70 Resort Course at LaCantera Golf Club. The winner gets $720,000 of the $4 million purse.
The Ryder Cup starts Friday in Ireland. Langer oversaw the biggest European rout in Ryder Cup history two years ago, but the only sure way he will see much this year is to miss the cut in Texas.
Langer figures he could watch more on TV than he could when he was European captain. Two years ago at Oakland Hills in Michigan, Langer said he had to find a spot on the course where he could position himself to view three holes. Europe beat the U.S., 18 1/2 -9 1/2 .
Langer, who becomes eligible for the 50-and-older Champions Tour in 11 months, is trying to refurbish his game after nagging injuries to his back, neck and shoulder have limited his play. He's played once overseas since missing the cut at the PGA Championship in August.
Also, Langer returned to Germany 10 days ago to attend his father's funeral in Anhausen.
'I was hurt and injured for a couple of months in the summer and didn't get to play as much and play very well,' Langer said. 'Hopefully I'll get in contention a few times, and on the Champions Tour, I hope I'll win again.'
Current European captain Ian Woosnam has not contacted Langer about tactics and preparation for the Ryder Cup. Langer said U.S. captain Tom Lehman has contacted him six times recently.
Though Woosnam said he found news of those conversations 'interesting,' Langer downplayed his contact with Lehman. Langer and Lehman are active with religious endeavors and longtime friends.
'There were no secrets given away,' Langer said. 'If (Woosnam) thinks he's got it all under control and he wants to do it his way, that's fine. I have no problem with that. He's been involved in many Ryder Cups. He thinks he knows what he's doing.'
There's plenty for Langer to handle in Texas. Robert Gamez won here last year after shooting an opening-round 62. Bart Bryant won two years ago after shooting a course-record 60 in the third round.
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