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Golf News: - Posted 13th May 1998

Langer withdraws from B & H

Oxford, England -  Defending champion Bernhard Langer pulled out of the Benson and Hedges International on Wednesday, on the eve of the tournament at the Oxfordshire course, still troubled by an injured neck.

Langer suffered the neck problem last week in Majorca but battled on through the Turespana Open to finish 34th. But with the injury worsening he decided to fly home to Germany for treatment by a specialist.

"I'm very disappointed not to be able to defend the title on a course which has provided such good memories," said Langer, adding that he thought the injury was a pinched nerve.

"The pain has now spread to my shoulder and I just cannot swing a club properly so I'm going to seek specialist treatment."

The injury could threaten Langer's appearance next week in the European Tour's flagship event, the PGA Championship at Wentworth. "It's too early to say whether I'll be fit for next week," said Langer.

Last year Langer's victory here was his second in successive weeks after he lifted the Italian Open title but this year the twice major champion is languishing at 45th on the money list.

It is the second time he has not defended a title this year. Three weeks ago, his schedule prevented him defending his Italian Open.