The European Tour heads to Germany this week for the 2019 BMW International Open. The tournament alternates between two venues, with the Golfclub München Eichenried staging the event in odd years.
The Par 72 course measures just short of 7,200 yards and it is a flat course protected by trees and water hazards. There have been a few changes made since the 2017 edition, with a few holes lengthened slightly and a variety of greens made bigger and more undulating. However, these cosmetic changes shouldn’t make too much difference to a course that traditionally yields plenty of birdies.
The Golfclub München Eichenried staged the event from 1997 until 2011 and again in 2013, 2015, and 2017, so these are the years to look at if you’re hoping past renewals will offer some insight into this year’s winner. Skillwise, accurate driving has often proved a useful asset here, but bombers can get away with a few loose drives if they’re not too wayward.
It’s easy to see why Sergio Garcia is vying for favouritism this week, as the Spaniard finished runner-up in 2011 and 2017 and finished seventh in 2015. However, his 52nd at last week’s US Open followed a couple of missed cuts and Garcia just doesn’t seem hungry enough for success at the moment for him to be a bet this week.
That’s not the case for this week’s other market leader, Matt Wallace, who is keen to make himself as good a golfer as he can be. The negatives are that he’s defending champion this week, and that win came on the other course used in even years. He also gave his all when finishing twelfth at Pebble Beach last week and his US Open exploits and the different time zone will make it hard for him to be at his best this week.
Matt Fitzpatrick also played well at last week’s US Open and that was a welcome return to form for a player of his standard, who had not finished in the top-20 for a while. He could take another step forward this week, but a missed cut at this course on his only previous visit means he won’t be on my betting slip this week. Indeed, the past editions of this event don’t make many players leap off the page as must-have-bets this week.
One player that is a standout is Pablo Larrazabal, as this is one of the inconsistent Spaniard’s favourite courses. He lifted the trophy here in 2011 and 2015 and finished 14th here in 2017. The fact he withdrew from his last tournament is a worry but, as he was eighth and fourth in his previous two events, he tops this week’s free golf tips.
In the hope that I’m not going to follow Thomas Detry over a cliff, the young sweet-swinging Belgian gets another chance to prove me right that he’s a European Tour winner waiting to happen. He’s got two-years more experience under his belt since he finished second here in 2017 and three top-15 finishes in his last five events suggests he must have a great chance of at least landing some each-way money in what doesn’t look the strongest of fields.
A player that looks massively overpriced in my eyes this week is Robert ‘Bobby’ MacIntyre. The young Scot will surely win a European Tour event in the near future, judged on his runner-up finished at this year’s British Masters and Made In Denmark, just losing out to the resurgent Bernd Wiesberger in the latter. The bookies seem to have marked him down for an early exit in the Belgian Knockout, but he deserves inclusion in this week’s staking plan returned to the standard 72-hole format.
Alexander Levy is a less confident pick this week, but triple-figure odds are too tempting about this multiple European Tour winner. He’s often emerged from a run of missed cuts to figure prominently and he will surely have gained some confidence from his performance in Belgium last time out. I don’t know why he’s not played here since finishing third on debut, but he often plays well at courses he’s shown good form at previously.
This week’s final pick, Andres Romero, is a complete enigma. The guy has talent in abundance but rarely seems to use it. However, with his future career up in the air two-years-ago, he produced a winning performance here and this birdie machine may do so again on the back of some poor performances.