The European Tour travels to Germany this week and the GolfClub München Eichenried by Munich. Henrik Stenson defends the BMW International Open title.
A number of players who teed it up in the US Open at Erin Hills last week have made the journey back to Europe to contest this event. In fact, it’s the strongest field in the history of the tournament. Defending champion Henrik Stenson is on the start sheet, as are: Masters champion Sergio Garcia, two-time Major winner Martin Kaymer, Ernie Els, Tommy Fleetwood and Rafa Cabrera Bello.
The GolfClub München Eichenried played host to this tournament from 1997 to 2011 and again in 2011, 2013 and 2015. The Kurt Rossknecht layout opened for play in 1989 and is a flat course protected mainly by its water hazards. The venue tends to produce low scoring. When Pablo Larrazabal won here in 2015, his winning score was 17-under-par. No fewer than 19 players finished on double figures under the card.
Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin holds the course record at GolfClub München Eichenried – he fired a 10-under-par 62 back in 2003.
Since the tournament was first hosted in 1989, it has produced some notable champions including Paul Azinger, Sandy Lyle, Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood. Last year at Gut Lärchenhof in Pulheim, Henrik Stenson took the title after having to complete 36-holes on the Sunday owing to rain delays. It was his second victory in the tournament, having also triumphed in 2006. Stenson used the victory as a springboard as he went on to triumph in The Open Championship at Royal Troon.
The weather forecast for this year looks to be pretty good. It looks likely to rain on Tuesday and Wednesday, which will soften the course nicely, and then be fine through the tournament with temperatures over 30 degrees centigrade. Expect more low scoring this time out.
Venue: GolfClub München Eichenried, Munich, Germany
Date: June 22-25
Course stats: par 71, 7,181 yards
Defending Champion: Henrik Stenson (-17)
Thursday 22 – Sky Sports 4 from 10.30am
Friday 23 – Sky Sports 4 from 10.30am
Saturday 24 – Sky Sports 4 from 1pm
Sunday 25 – Sky Sports 4 from 11am
Tommy Fleetwood – Fresh off a fine performance in the US Open, Fleetwood will be looking to keep up the pace with a good result here. He was tied 11th in this event last time it was held at München Eichenried, back in 2015.
Tommy Fleetwood at Birkdale:
Bernd Wiesberger – The Austrian has been playing well of late. He won in China then finished tied for fourth. He hasn’t missed a cut on the European Tour since last year’s USPGA. He was tied 16th in the US Open. He was tied fourth on this course back in 2013.
Rafa Cabrera Bello – He played steadily at Erin Hills and will be pleased to return to a tournament in which he has a tied third and a tied second place on his CV. He’ll be aiming to add a first.
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.