Shoulder injury puts out Langer

Golf: The Open
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The Independent Online
Bernhard Langer yesterday withdrew from the championship because of a shoulder complaint which contributed to a disappointing opening 75 on Thursday.

Langer, who had a lengthy break earlier this year because of an injured right shoulder, said this latest injury was totally different. "That was a joint problem. This is muscular, probably a rotator cuff injury."

The same injury, more often associated with baseball pitchers, forced Tom Watson to withdraw before the start of the Open, and Langer admitted that yesterday on the practice range he could not take the club back above his waist.

"I couldn't make a backswing and if you can't make a backswing you can't play golf," he said.

The German recently fought off another case of the "yips" - a muscular spasm while putting - which affected him at the US Open last month when he was disqualified for signing for the wrong score.

He said then that if his difficulties continued he might think of retiring, but he overcame the problem quickly and a week later he nearly won the French Open, losing on the first play-off hole to Robert Allenby.