Two-time Masters Champion Bernhard Langer had wanted to make golfing history at this year's Masters Tournament, but he'll be sitting on the sidelines instead.
The German golfer suffers from a torn ligament in his left thumb and had surgery 10 days ago, rendering him unable to compete, said Langer, who was the special guest at an event at Mercedes-Benz on Washington Road on Tuesday.
"This would have been the first time ever in the history of the Masters that three Germans participated. It's not a very popular sport in Germany," he said.
The other Germans competing in the 2011 Masters Tournament are Martin Kaymer and Alex Cejka.
"It's nice to be back to the Masters Tournament, even though I'm not playing. It's very disappointing. It's the first experience for me because I have never been hurt when it came to this tournament. I will know more on Sunday what it's like, but I'm sure it's going to be difficult to be on the outside of the ropes looking in instead of the other way around," Langer said.
At this year's tournament, he'll be cheering for his fellow German compatriot, Kaymer, who is currently ranked number one in the world in golf, he said.
In addition to watching the tournament, Langer still plans to attend tonight's Champions Dinner, several appointments with Mercedes-Benz for whom he serves as an ambassador, a few functions with a German-based company, as well as visit with other golfers.
"It will be more of a socializing week than an active golfing week," he said.
Langer said that he injured his thumb while riding his bicycle to the beach in Florida.
"I only pushed the traffic signal button, and that did it. I just hit it a little too hard. I must have hit it awkwardly, and it tore my ligament. It was no major accident as such, so that's a good thing," he said.
Langer hopes to have a speedy recovery and then get back on the golf course.
"It's going to be six weeks of total rest and immobilization of the thumb, and then after that I can start rehab. Hopefully, after about eight weeks or so I can play again," Langer said
Langer grew up near Munich, Germany, and today he resides in Boca Raton, Fla.
Reach LaTina Emerson at (706) 823-3227