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Bernhard Langer out to defend his U.S. Senior Open Championship title

Bernhard Langer out to defend his U.S. Senior Open Championship title

It’s been a year already since Bernhard Langer won the U.S. Senior Open. More important to the here and now, he’s just shy of five months since tearing his Achilles on Feb. 1.

This will be his sixth tournament back as he continues to play through recovery from the injury. He’ll also be three-for-three in participating in the senior majors in 2024, quite a feat for someone who was told the typical Achilles’ recovery is 12 months.

“It’s getting better, but it’s not there yet. I was told it’s an injury that generally takes 12 months to be at 100 percent, and I’m not even at five months yet,” Langer said Wednesday at Newport Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island. “I feel it. My leg and my ankle is swollen. It’s fatigue. I don’t have the range of motion in my foot.

“So there’s various things that aren’t there yet. My balance is not where I want it to be and my strength. My calf muscle is probably one or two inches smaller than the other leg. I can’t get on my tiptoes. Right foot, I can do that. Just my right foot. I tried it on my left, and nothing.”

While he will get a cart this week, he will also need to prepare for a fourth day of competition, as senior majors have 72 holes, unlike most of the regular-season senior events consisting of 54.

“I’ve got a ways to go and I’m happy to be playing golf. The good thing is I can get carts in tournaments because right now I can’t walk four or five days, 18 holes. It’s impossible,” he said.

Langer says he had a long discussion recently with New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who famously tore his Achilles just four plays into last season.

“We had just talked about the PRP and stem cells, which I haven’t done yet and probably will not do, but I’ve had PRP done, which is your own blood spinning and injecting your own blood into the wound or into the area that needs healing,” Langer said. “It was interesting to hear his thoughts on the rehab, what he did and what I was doing, and it was on very similar lines and similar progress as well.”

After setting PGA Tour Champions records for victories (46), majors (12) and money ($36 million), he says he often gets the same question.

“I’m 66, and a lot of people say, why don’t you retire?” he said. “I guess I could, but I love the game of golf and I love to compete, and I’m still good enough to compete and be up there where I think I can win tournaments. When that changes, when I feel like I’m…


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