Relying on weather forecasts is a haphazard affair in any walk of life, and as we saw last week it can certainly play havoc with the best laid gambling plans. After the most frustrating weekend from both a spectator and betting perspective, I have some bad news. It seems that the rain has followed Europe’s finest across the Atlantic and could once again interrupt this week’s BMW International Open. Looking to the weekend, there’s a good chance it will clear up, but for now Munich looks pretty miserable. Any impact on tee times can only be guessed at, though hopefully we won’t see anything as significant as the disadvantage felt by last week’s early starters, who played in conditions that were approximately four shots worse than those who waited until Friday to play their opening rounds.
I suspect it’s a pretty safe bet that we will once again see soft, receptive greens and target golf. At least that would be close to the norm for Golfclub Munchen Eichenried, whereas at Bethpage it completely thwarted any analysis based on previous majors form; events in which we only very rarely see players shooting at pins with great spin control. This venue has always produced low scoring, and a winning total of at least -15 seems on the cards once again.
Punters desperately need a change of luck, as even before Lucas Glover had stunned the golfing world, three of the previous four Euro Tour winners had started at over 500/1. This event bodes well in that respect, with all of the last ten winners either a Ryder Cup player, a Major champion or in the case of Martin Kaymer last year, somebody who will surely achieve at least the first of those goals at some point in the future.
That tendency to favour the best players is well illustrated in the course records of most of the market principals, but the sceptre of last week’s long drawn-out saga looms large over their chances. Finishing a five day marathon on Monday at one of the game’s most gruelling venues, followed by a flight to Germany is not the ideal preparation for a golf tournament, and is bound to have left an immediate mark on some of the players. Already, Ross Fisher has withdrawn and I wouldn’t be surprised to see others follow suit.