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Ken Medlin

A week of closure for Langer

Posted October 4, 2012
Updated October 5, 2012

Bernhard Langer is a two-time Masters champion. He was one of the top golfers of his era, the first player ever ranked #1 when the Official World Golf Rankings came out in 1986.

But he'll always be remembered for a putt he missed -- the one that cost Europe the 1991 Ryder Cup.

That's why this year's Euro-win has to be especially sweet for Langer. It came on a similar putt made by his fellow German, Martin Kaymer, and it came only a day after Kaymer sought out Langer's advice on how to handle the pressure of the Ryder Cup.

Langer's in Cary this weekend for the SAS Championship, and spoke about his connection with Kaymer - and their well-timed phone conversation.

They talked about Kaymer's decision to change his swing - and the inevitable step back that came along with it. Langer supported the move, one he thinks will make Kaymer a better player in the long run. But mostly, they talked about Kaymer's experience as the only German on the European team. It was that way for Langer in his Ryder Cup days, so only he could truly understand Kaymer's feeling of isolation.

His advice: Embrace the team concept, even if no one else speaks your language.

In short, open up...

"I think he took it seriously, made some changes right away and felt more a part of it." Langer said. "And I was very grateful he had the opportunity to get the winning point and make the winning putt."

Kaymer earned his place on the European team - and in golf lore - with his putt at Medinah. And maybe - just maybe - Langer earned a bit of closure. Twenty-one years after his missed putt cost Europe a Cup, Langer's advice helped frame the mindset of another German golfer faced with an eerily-similar shot.

And this one went in...

Langer tees off Friday at 10:46 at Prestonwood to begin his opening round at the SAS Championship.

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