The Reason Bernhard Langer Is Missing The Masters? Pickleball

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Bernhard Langer is missing the Masters for only the second time in the last 40 years because of an Achilles tendon tear from playing pickleball.

This was supposed to be the final Masters for the two-time champion from Germany. But he disclosed the injury last month, referring to it as a “training exercise.”

Langer, who holds the PGA Tour Champions record with 46 victories, said on the “Musings on Golf” podcast that it came from pickleball.

“I play all sorts of sports to stay fit, and this was part of my fitness regime,” Langer said. “I was playing pickleball and somebody was trying to lob me. I did a few steps backward and hit an overhead, and as I landed on the ground with my feet I heard this huge ‘pop,’ very loud, like a gun shot. I knew right away it was a torn Achilles.”

Langer had surgery on his left Achilles tendon the next day. The 66-year-old German said he still plans to go to Augusta National for the Masters Club dinner for champions and visit sponsors.

He said he hopes to return to golf at the Insperity Invitational in Houston on May 3-5. “If that doesn’t happen, shortly after that,” he said.

The following week is the first of five majors on the PGA Tour Champions schedule. Langer won the U.S. Senior Open last year for his 12th major on the senior circuit. That makes him eligible for the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 in June.