The European Tour heads for Germany this week and the BMW International Open. Many top names have made the journey to Munich for the 25th running of this prestigious tournament.
David Feherty won the first instalment of the BMW International Open back in 1989, beating Fred Couples into second place. Since then, there have been some notable champions. Paul Azinger was twice a winner and Sandy Lyle, Colin Montgomerie, Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson and Martin Kaymer have all taken the title over the years.
Last year at Gut Larchenhof in Cologne, Danny Willett of England came through a four-hole playoff against Marcus Fraser of Australia to claim his first European Tour title.
Willett is back to defend his title at Golfclub München Eichenried but will face stiff competition from a strong field. 2012 Open champion Ernie Els will play after a solid showing at Merion last week. In fact, 10 players who competed in the U.S. Open will start in this event. Among them are Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson.
Martin Kaymer will carry home hopes and young Matteo Manassero will be looking to make it a double of BMW titles after he claimed the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last month.
Golfclub München Eichenried is a Kurt Rossknecht-designed layout that opened for play in 1989. It’s a flat course protected mainly by its water hazards. The venue tends to produce low scoring.
Venue: Golfclub München Eichenried
Date: Jun 20-23
Course stats: par 72, 7,157 yards
Purse: €2,000,000 Winner: €333,330
Defending Champion: Danny Willett (-11)
Thursday 20 – Sky Sports 2 from 10.30am
Friday 21 – Sky Sports 1 from 10.30am
Saturday 22 – Sky Sports 3 from 1pm
Sunday 23 – Sky Sports 2 from 12pm
Matteo Manassero – Winner at Wentworth, then fourth at the Nordea Masters, Manassero has stepped up a level this season. This is a course that should suit his game, his skills on the greens could come to the fore. He missed the cut in the US Open but didn’t play badly with rounds of 75 and 74. The fact he didn’t play the weekend in Pennsylvania will mean he’s well rested for this week.
Joost Luiten – Hasn’t played since claiming an impressive victory in the Lyoness Open. He’ll look to build on that result here. He was tied third in this event the last time it was played at Munchen Eichenried.
Brett Rumford – The Australian won back-to-back in Korea then China and followed up with a decent performance in the Volvo Matchplay. He may not have produced his best golf in the BMW PGA Champs at Wentworth, but he’ll still be full of confidence coming into this event.
Key hole: 16th. A risk and reward par four of just 319 yards. It’s driveable but with water waiting short and right anything with a touch of cut on it will end up wet. If someone needs to make birdies on the last day they’ll definitely have a go at it.
Skills required: Putting. It’s a relatively straightforward layout where birdies are commonplace. The winner will have a great week with the flat stick.
PGA Tour – Travelers Championship preview