After the thrills and spills of the US Open, the European Tour is in Germany this week for the 21st running of the BMW International Open.
The competition heads back to the Golfclub Munchen Eichenried for the 13th consecutive season. The Kurt Rossknecht layout opened for play in 1989, it’s a flat course protected mainly by its water hazards. The venue tends to produce low scoring, when David Howell won in 2005 he finished with a total of -23.
Last season Martin Kaymer carried a six-shot lead into the final round but the German stumbled to a closing 75 – he needed a birdie at the final hole to finish tied with Anders Hansen. He duly made it then took the title on the first extra hole. In claiming the victory he became the first ever German winner of the BMW International Open.
Kaymer and Hansen will be back in the field this week and they’ll be joined by a host of the European Tour’s top players – Ross Fisher, Henrik Stenson and Retief Goosen arrive in Germany fresh off good finishes in the US Open while Miguel Angel Jimenez, the 2004 BMW International champion, always performs well at this venue. John Daly will certainly add colour to the event and Colin Montgomerie will be hoping the flickers of form he’s shown over the past month will turn into something more substantial.
Venue: Golfclub München Eicheenried, Munich, Germany
Course stats: par 72, 6,995 yards
Purse: €2,000,000, Winner: €333,330
Defending Champion: Martin Kaymer (-15)
Thursday 25 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 10.30am
Friday 26 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 10.30am
Saturday 27 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 1.30pm
Sunday 28 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 1pm
Henrik Stenson – The World Number five had a solid finish at Bethpage last week and has a good record here. He was tied sixth in last season’s event.
Martin Kaymer – Germany’s best player will be looking to make a solid defence of his title on home soil.
Ross Fisher – If the US Open had just been a tee to green test, Fisher would have won it at a canter. If he can find some form with his putter this week he might walk 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: Fairways and greens. If they keep the ball on the short grass around this course they’ll stand to make a good number of birdies. Look for the winner to go well under par: -15 to -20 perhaps.