With the tee off upon us, here are six players we think will contend at Walton Heath

Bob Warters and Andy Roberts
Wed, 20 Jul 2011

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Langer: defending champ

Bernhard Langer

The double Masters winner makes a sentimental, though determined return to Walton Heath this week - scene of his Ryder Cup debut in 1981, when Europe was beaten by a US team, which included Watson, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Crenshaw and Johnny Miller at the peak of their powers.

The German is proud to be defending champion of the Senior Open, having won it at Carnoustie last year when he held off 2010 Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin. Langer went on to win the US Senior Open - the first European to win back-to-back Senior Majors in successive weeks.

He recalls: "I had to fly straight to the west coast of America for the US Senior Open, with an eight-hour time change so winning two in a row was quite a ride and a special two weeks in my career."

However, it would be some feat if he were to defend the coveted title as he is still recovering from a thumb injury, which occurred while riding his bike to a beach in Florida. He came to an intersection and while still moving, reached out to push the traffic signal button. He tore a ligament in his left thumb and it's still sore.

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