The golf phenomenon Bernhard Langer is back. Just three months after tearing his left Achilles tendon, the 66-year-old is playing again in a PGA Tour Champions tournament in The Woodlands, Texas.

“I’m back!” – Langer announced his return to the tour with the legendary words of basketball superstar Michael Jordan. On March 19, 1995, this exact quote from Jordan about his comeback with the Chicago Bulls was the huge headline on the front page of the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper.

Now Langer is back on the golf course and amazes the competition with his quick return. After rounds of 69 and 74 strokes, the 1985 and 1993 Masters winner was tied for 31st before the final day at The Woodlands Country Club. This was also the final result because the tournament was shortened to 36 holes and ended on Sunday due to bad weather.

Due to heavy rain in the greater Houston area, the opening round of the tournament was postponed from Friday to Saturday. It was a stressful day for Langer and his teammates because the postponement meant that the players had to complete two rounds on the par-72 course. Langer celebrated his first victory on the over-50s tour at the tournament in 2007. In total he won it four times.

The Anhausen native’s quick convalescence is extremely astonishing. At the beginning of February, Langer sustained the injury while playing pickleball – a mixture of tennis, table tennis and badminton – in his adopted US hometown of Boca Raton. Less than 24 hours later, the torn Achilles tendon had already been operated on. He started rehab just three days after the procedure. Advances in medicine have made this possible. “The way they operate now is completely different than it was a few years ago,” Langer said.

NFL star gives rehab advice

The healing process was rapid. During his rehab, the golf professional also modeled himself on NFL star Aaron Rodgers. The quarterback tore his Achilles tendon in his debut for the New York Jets in September 2023. Three months later, the 40-year-old threw the football again in training – but Rodgers decided not to return to the then current NFL season. “I spoke to Aaron after the Masters. I followed his story and it encouraged me that I might be able to achieve something similar,” Langer said.

Langer wanted to celebrate his farewell to the legendary US Masters in mid-April, but the major tournament at Augusta National Golf Club came too early for the two-time champion. Now he wants to play his last Masters in 2025. As a Masters champion, he has a lifetime right to compete at Augusta. At the beginning of July, Langer returns to his home country of Germany for a tournament. The veteran has firmly planned to take part in the BMW International Open in Munich from July 3rd to 7th. It will be Langer’s last start at a tournament on the DP World Tour (formerly European Tour).

Pickleball break for now

Langer has been playing golf professionally since 1976. In addition to his two Masters victories, the German golf icon celebrated countless successes. Alone on the previous European Tour. Langer 42 wins. He celebrated winning the Ryder Cup six times. When the world rankings were introduced in 1986, he was the first player to be at the top. Langer has been playing on the PGA Tour Champions since 2007 and has won 46 titles – more than anyone before.

When asked at the end whether he would ever play pickleball again, Langer had to laugh: “Maybe someday. But not in the next year or so, that’s for sure.”