Ernie Els excelled at the BMW International Open in the first round, firing an opening gambit of -9 under par 63.
Ernie Els / Getty Images
After a low-scoring opening round at the BMW International Open in Munich, Ernie Els has a one shot lead over Germany’s favorite, Martin Kaymer.
Ernie said he was really happy to be away from the torture of the U.S. Open at Merion;
” It’s really nice, and just a pleasure to play, not to go through a torture chamber like we did at the US Open, it’s a nice start.“It seems like it’s really a day of scoring today, if you shoot a really low one, it’s nice. It takes the pressure off the rest of the tournament a little bit. Although you’re leading, it doesn’t really mean much until Sunday, but if you get into the race, so to speak, early on in the tournament, it’s nice to be right in the hunt.
Guys will be shooting low this afternoon and tomorrow morning, so I probably won’t be in the lead by the time I tee off. But it’s nice to have got a good round under my belt and can start kind of going for Sunday. I’ve really been working hard at my game. Especially obviously going into the US Open and really around the PGA at Wentworth, I could feel things were coming around a bit. I had a bit of an iffy year up to now, but I really feel that my swing feels good and my body feels good, touch wood. So I can swing the club, properly.”
Martin was the 2008 winner of this event, and was one of four players to complete the first round in -8 under par 64, joining him on that score were Dutchman Robert-Jan Derksen, England’s Matthew Baldwin and Swede Alexander Noren.
Martin was also happy to be playing a different course than Merion;
” In general, the last few months, I haven’t had a low round at all, so obviously it’s a little bit of a different golf course that we play this week, so there are lots of chances. It’s a nice start. The expectations were very high, I put a lot of pressure on myself and obviously it’s the only tournament we play in Germany, so very pleased, I’m very happy. I just want to put myself in position. It’s not so much about really trying to win. I try to put myself in position on Sunday, and then we will see and I think I will have an advantage with the people here and very good support. I had fun today and I had a good group, too, to play with.”
Robert, Matthew and Alex were all bogey free in perfect conditions at Golfclub München Eichenried, to stay one shot clear of the next group of three players at -7 under par. Dustin Johnson was a further shot back at -6 under par, and he was another player who expressed relief at being away from the tough Merion course;
” I drove it well, hit it well. I holed a couple putts but I missed quite a few short ones. Merion was playing really tough, so it’s nice to come here where, this golf course, you’ve still got to play good golf and hit good shots and get it close to the hole. But it’s a lot of fun and there’s a lot of birdies out there, I’m happy with where I’m at right now and I’m looking forward to coming back in the morning and playing better.”
The weather here in Wellington was unimaginable last night, winds gusting over 100 mph and torrential rain. The golf course will be closed today, that’s an understatement.