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Inspired by Aaron Rodgers, Bernhard Langer making rapid return to PGA TOUR Champions

3 Min Read



    Written by Staff @ChampionsTour

    Bernhard Langer will make his PGA TOUR Champions return at next week’s Insperity Invitational presented by United Healthcare, just three months after the 66-year-old tore his left Achilles tendon.

    “Statistically, they say that guys win the most tournaments from age 50 to 55 on the PGA TOUR Champions, and then they kind of drop off,” Langer said in a statement. “I’m trying to continue to prove them wrong.”

    Langer tore the Achilles while playing pickleball on Feb. 1 at Woodfield Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida. He underwent surgery to repair the tendon the next day. In a recent interview with the PGA TOUR, Langer revealed more details of how he sustained the injury.

    “Part of my training is doing other things, like ping-pong and other sports," Langer said. "So I played pickleball with some of my friends. My opponent lobbed me and I did a few steps back, jumped up and hit it and as I landed, I heard this loud noise and pain in my leg. I went down on the ground and at first I thought I hit something walking backwards but as I looked around there me was nothing there and I realized most likely it’s a torn Achilles tendon.

    “I immediately started talking about, ‘Well, what does this mean?” he continued. "Because I had no idea, how long will I be out? Will I ever be back?”

    Bernhard Langer’s remarkable recovery after Achilles injury

    Langer's doctors quickly alleviated his worries, projecting a full recovery if he followed the physical therapy plan. Langer spent more than a month wearing a boot on his left foot but shed it by the end of March when he was able to stand on his own for the first time. Shortly after, he was cleared to begin working out and hitting balls.

    “That was an amazing feeling, that I can actually stand again because I didn’t stood for weeks,” Langer said.

    Langer found inspiration in New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who underwent the same Achilles surgery last September. Rodgers’ accelerated timeline, which allowed the star quarterback to throw a football within three months, provided Langer a roadmap.

    “That lifted my spirits, hearing he was back on the field throwing the ball after eight or nine weeks," Langer said. "That encouraged me that I may do something similar."

    Bernhard Langer | Swing Theory | Driver, iron, wedge

    It’s a remarkable recovery for Langer, who has defied his age and expectations many times before. Langer has won more than 130 professional golf tournaments around the world throughout his career. A three-time winner on the PGA TOUR, including the 1985 and 1993 Masters, Langer also has 12 major victories on the PGA TOUR Champions. He is one of only five players to have won tournaments on all six continents where golf is played. He has played on 10 Ryder Cup teams and captained the European squad to victory in 2004.

    Langer won twice last year, including the U.S. Senior Open, to pass Hale Irwin for most victories on Champions Tour. Langer has finished in the top-five in more than 40 percent of his Champions Tour starts. The ageless Langer has accumulated 28 titles after the age of 57, and 13 of his wins have come following his 60th birthday. The only player to win after turning 64, which he has done four times, Langer is also the only player in history to win every major on the senior swing.

    He doesn’t intend for this injury to derail that pace: “My goal was always to be the best I can be and I think if I get back to being my best again, even at my age, I still think I’m competitive and win.”

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