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Euro Tour. BMW International Open. Els Excels

Ernie Els excelled in the BMW International Open at Golfclub München Eichenried, winning by one shot from Thomas Björn.

Ernie Els  (Getty Images)

Ernie Els / Getty Images

Ernie had posted his intentions at the BMW International Open when carded an opening round 63. He finished off the job with three rounds of -3 under par 69, for a winning total of -18 under par.

Ernie said he had enjoyed a wonderful tournament;

” It’s been wonderful, I’ve had a great week in Germany. We’ve got to thank BMW obviously for their 25 years of support, I’ve tried a long time to try and win this golf tournament. Wonderful to have sponsors like that around the world, and especially on The European Tour. There’s a lot of people that are working behind the scenes; the volunteers, the Golf Club of Eichenried.  There’s quite a lot of people getting involved in the golf course. We’ve got to thank all of them, and obviously my play this week has been great. I just felt good this week. I just felt my game was there and lucky enough it was one shot good enough. I really had it going and then I made it tough for myself again. Thomas was playing great, he stumbled on 14, I was watching the kid, I played with him yesterday and he looked like he had a great game, but he stumbled as well on the back nine. It’s great to get my name on this wonderful trophy. Obviously it gives you a lot of confidence. Wire-to-wire you’ve got the pressure, every night you’ve got to sleep on it, guys are chasing you. So this is quite a week for me.”

Thomas Björn was in second place at -17 under par, he also finished second in his last tournament, and is in good form at the moment;

“I played well, got off to the start I needed today and got right there in front. The thing that’s been great this week is the driver, and let me down on the back nine. I fought all the way to the end, and he hit two very classy shots on the last. When you go up against Ernie, you’ve got to take it 18 holes to the end and I didn’t quite do it today. I’m on a good run of form. I wanted to try and get myself in the top 20 in The Race to Dubai and top five for The Open, and I’m keeping closer to that and that’s my goal over the next couple of weeks. The qualifier takes a lot out of you, and I’m going to Ireland on a golf course I won on and I’ll keep carrying on and fighting hard until I win a golf tournament.”

The kid Ernie referred to was Alexander Levy, who finished in third place alone at -16 under par. The Qualifying School graduate from France played exceptionally well.

The home favourite Martin Kaymer, Austrian Bernd Wiesberger and Swede Alex Noren all finished tied for fourth spot at -15 under par.

Euro Tour. BMW International Open. 3rd Round Three Way Tie.

The third round ended in a three-way tie in the BMW International Open at the Golfclub München Eichenried course between Ernie Els, Alexander Levy and Alex Noren. All three players finished the day with a tournament total of -15 under par.

Ernie Els   (Getty Images)

Ernie Els / Getty

Ernie has been caught at the top of the leaderboard in the BMW International Open, after a two hours and twenty minutes delay for rain in the third round. Ernie had a trio of three putts, but recovered with three birdies in his last five holes for a -3 under par 69 and to hang on at the top;

“All in all I’ve got to be happy, I was a little out of sorts on the greens on the front nine, I didn’t quite get the pace of the greens. They are a little bit faster for some reason and I kept hitting it past and then didn’t make the returns, but I made a little slight adjustment and played some proper stuff coming in. If it wasn’t for those three three putts I had, I would have had a really good score. I was playing so nicely that I felt I’m trying to pull away from the field, and then the opposite happened, and I made some mistakes. I’m in a good position still, just hanging onto the lead or co leader now, and tomorrow is all to play for.”

Alexander Levy was happy with his score, and to have played with Ernie;

“I played very well, I’m very happy. It was great for me to play with a fantastic player. It’s nice to play with him, very happy, it was unbelievable. It was tough, but I like this position.  I practiced for that and I’m happy to be in this position for tomorrow. I like to play in the top, I prefer this position. I want to be like that all the time. I don’t know what happens tomorrow, but I will go to make the job like today, and play golf on a golf course in good condition and I am happy.”

Alex Noren  started the day three shots adrift of the lead, but made up the deficit with a -6 under par 66 round;

” I hit a lot of good shots and a few bad ones, but you always do. You’ve got to be aggressive, because there are so many guys. The leaderboard is as tight as ever with so many good players. Yeah, I’ve got to be aggressive and maybe more aggressive tomorrow than today. I came off the bogey on 15, and it was a perfect distance for the three wood and I hit it great. Marcel  hit it really close just before me, so I knew it was possible, but then I managed to hole the putt, it was great.”

Tied in fourth spot are Matthew Baldwin and Thomas Bjorn, both just one shot adrift at -14 under par. Home favorites Martin Kaymer and Marcel Siem are close by, in the group of  five players at -12 under par.

The leaderboard is still tightly compacted, with eleven players within three shots of the leaders. It will be a real battle for supremacy tomorrow.

BMW International Open.

An excellent second round from Ernie Els kept him at the top of the leaderboard at the half-way stage of the BMW International Open in Munich.

Ernie Els  (Getty Images)

Ernie Els / Getty

Ernie had a tougher day but managed to grind out a -3 under par second round of 69, which included a double bogey. It was still enough at -12 under par tournament total to keep him in front of everybody else.

Ernie thinks the Golfclub München Eichenried course will play harder over the weekend;

” I’m in a nice position obviously, I think it’s going to play a little tougher over the weekend. It’s getting a little bit firmer but I would like to swing a little better tomorrow, but I’m in a really nice position. I’m quite fortunate to be where I am. I didn’t play as good today as I did yesterday obviously. I fought hard for a score today and satisfied with that. There is so much golf to be played. If you fall out of the lead, if you’re not leading after three rounds, it doesn’t really mean much at all late Sunday. So you just want to stay in the race and keep trying to go forward.”

Tied in second place at -11 under par, just one shot adrift, are Matthew Baldwin and Alexander Levy.

Matthew said for him it is all about self-control;

” Just to stay patient and self talk is a big point for me. I sometimes get down on myself, so stay positive and stay patient. Stay patient and let the chances come and we’ll see what happens.”

Alexander, a Qualifying School graduate, said he was happy, apart from a few shaky tee shots;

” I’m very happy to play this one today, I missed a few shots off the tee but I take a good time on the course and I played very, very well today and I’m very happy. I stayed very patient, because two weeks ago, I played well in Austria, but the second round I missed a few shots and I didn’t play very well the second round, and today I’m very happy to play well today. I take a few experiences, and it’s nice to progress on that and to play like that with the experience. It’s positive, I’ve just got to play my golf and take a lot of good time on the course, and we’ll see what happens.”

Danny Willett, the defending champ and Bernd Weisberger are together in fourth place at -10 under par.

Danny carded a -7  under par 65, which was a pleasant surprise after his battles with a back injury recently;

” It was good, yesterday was a bit hit and miss, a little bit shaky. I haven’t played a lot of tournament golf in the last 14 weeks, so it was a bit rusty, and today hit some proper golf shots again and I played really nicely.It’s good to put yourself in a position. Obviously Ernie has got a round to go and a few other guys at seven, eight under par, so it will be interesting at the end of the day. It is a birdie-fest out here and people make a lot of putts and stuff. If you can just keep hitting it inside 20 feet, 15 feet, you are going to hole your fair share. We had some good numbers, played the par fives pretty nicely, it’s just been pretty good all the way around. First time coming back to a tournament defending champion is always nice, obviously different golf course but still the same atmosphere and it’s BMW’s 25th anniversary, so it’s a nice event this year.”

Bernd was happy to be in contention;

” Obviously I’m happy, I got myself back into contention again and up the leaderboard, so very happy to see that after a couple of hiccups during the round. All in all, I like the way I hit the ball. I like the way I executed my chances when I had them, so pleased with my game overall.”

Behind by just three shots at -6 under par are, Martin Kaymer, and his German compatriot Marcel Siem, Alex Noren, Tommy Fleetwood and Miguel Angel Jiménez.

Missing the cut at -3 under par was Colin Montgomery, Alex Cejka, Tom Lewis, Anders Hansen, just some of the bigger names to fall out.

Euro Tour. BMW International Open. Els Excels

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)

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.”

Asides;

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.

Euro Tour. BMW International Open, Kaymer Comes Home.

Martin Kaymer, a previous winner of the BMW International Open, at Golfclub München Eichenried in 2008, is coming home to play as the home town favorite.

Martin Kaymer  (Getty Images)

Martin Kaymer / Getty Images

Martin said he feels the pressure of being a favorite and sensing the expectations of his countrymen;

” The last few years, we have only BMW as a sponsor for The European Tour in Germany and obviously for me it’s very nice to come home. We don’t really have the chance to sleep in your own bed very often. But also, it’s a little bit more pressure; the expectations from people, the expectations from yourself. You put a little bit more pressure on yourself, but it’s a fine line to find the combination of using the support from the fans and the spectators, and your will, you put it all together and try to get a good result. This week I organized things a little bit differently and I have a little bit more time for myself. Everybody was satisfied with the way things went and now we can focus on golf. I just played the Pro Am, I will practice a little bit later, go home, chill, and hopefully shoot a good round tomorrow.”

The Ryder Cup star endured a testing time at the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club last week, finishing tied in 59th place. He said he was happy for his Medinah team-mate Justin Rose to win;

” It’s very tough, when you come from the US Open, if you tell me how my game is, you shot 19 over par, I can’t tell you I’m playing well, it sounds stupid. But I’m not playing bad. It’s just one of those weeks when you come from the US Open, you don’t really know what you’re going to get the next week, so today was fine. I played fairly well and the golf course, I do enjoy it, I had success here. So I’m looking forward to the whole week. It’s a different week than the last few years for me, so I hope I can enjoy it more. US Open, you just try to hold on, pretty much from Thursday morning, until Sunday afternoon, and here is a little bit chasing. I was so happy for him [Justin], because I know how hard he worked the last couple years. We had dinner with his caddie, I think five-six months ago or so, and he was so motivated. He was so motivated and he was so into it, and he wanted almost to win more than a player I thought. And to see Justin, winning a Major, I didn’t know how many years ago it is that an English guy won a Major but it must have been almost 20 years; and now Justin got it done, in combination with his caddie, how much they put into it. I was very, very happy for him. It was nice to see.”

Another player to come over from Merion is American Dustin Johnson, a Ryder Cup opponent of Martin. Dustin is still in recovery mode from his recent back injury, and came through the tough course lay-out at Merion without further miss-hap;

” Obviously coming off the US Open, I struggled a little bit there but feel really good coming into this week. I had a good day today, hit the ball really well. The course is in fantastic shape and it’s playing a little easier than the US Open was. I like coming here, Munich is a great city, people are very friendly. I enjoy hanging out in the city after the golf rounds. Obviously BMW does a great job here with this golf tournament, I’m happy to be here.”

Good Luck to Martin, I know my blogging friend in Germany, Stephan, is looking forward to seeing Martin triumphantly lift high the BMW International Open trophy.

Danny Willett, BMW International Open winner, What equipment does he use ?

Danny Willett  (Getty Images)

Danny Willett (Getty Images

Danny Willett survived a strenuous, concentration sapping four hole play-off  against Marcus Fraser, to claim his maiden European Tour title at the BMW International Open on the Gut Larchenhof golf course in Cologne. Danny had been in the mix at the top of the board ever since a fine round of 65 on Thursday saw him lie one-off the pace, set by Fabrizio Zanotti and Marcus Fraser. In the end the key to his success came down to two great shots on Sunday, proving that those key moments often mean the difference between second place, and victory.

Now everybody wants to know what equipment Danny puts into his bag, and would any of it help you to achieve your golfing goals.

This list is  compiled by ©SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC, and data is collated during the first round of the event.

Ball   Callaway, + Hex Black +
Shoe       FootJoy

Driver      Callaway, RAZR Hawk Prototype – 9.5°

Fairway Wood       Callaway, RAZR Fit - 15°

Utility Club      Callaway, X Utility Proto - 21°

3 – 9 Irons       Callaway, RAZR Muscle Back

Pitching Wedge       Callaway, Forged - 48°

Sand Wedge       Callaway, Forged – 56°

Lob Wedge       Callaway, Forged – 60°

Putter       Odyssey, Black Series i 1

Of course the only thing I would change would be the Putter, obviously for one of our White  Dragon Putters.

http://www.europeantour.com/mm/Photo/Static/Static/14/94/45/149445_PROMO.jpg

Foot-note;  my BMW seven series is in for a service today, thought I would give BMW a plug.

European Tour, BMW International Open, Danny Willett Wins

Willett wins after marathon play-off

Danny Willett (Getty Images

Danny Willett won the European Tour, BMW International Open at a wet and windy Gut Lärchenhof golf course in Cologne after a four hole play-off.  Danny finally claimed his first European Tour title, he had previously achieved 19 top-ten finishes. It was a nail-biting play-off victory over Marcus Fraser. Both players had  finished the tournament with scores of -11 under par, which sent them down the play-off hole, the difficult 18th. On their fourth attempt Danny almost ran a flop from the rough in for birdie and Fraser’s 25 foot putt lipped out,  leaving Willett to tap in for victory. Obviously Danny was very pleased with his effort;

“It’s amazing, it was a tough day. It was brutal with the wind whipping and it was raining. Marcus had a great round today and I hung in there nicely. Hopefully I gave people a good show. This week has been strange, I’ve been working really hard with support from my family and my girlfriend. I’ve had some ups and downs in the last 18 months as everyone knows but I’m injury free now and back to playing well and I’d like to thank everyone back home for supporting me. I’ll keep working hard and hopefully we can do it again.”

He also spoke about his four years on tour without a win;

This is my fourth year on Tour now. I’ve had a lot of good finishes, been in contention a couple of times, obviously with Kaymer at the Dunhill a few years back. To polish it off, it feels good. Ideally I would have won earlier but probably winning a bit later on now, it gives me a little bit more to think about and I’m probably a little bit more mature now than I was when I first came on Tour. It would have been good to win a few years ago, but a win is a win. The guys out here are brilliant. They play week in, week out, and it’s competitive. I’m just thankful for finally winning one.”

He was also in a hurry to get to the airport;

“I’m going to get on the first plane I can and get down to Sunningdale and try to qualify for The Open tomorrow. I’ve still got 36 holes tomorrow for The Open, the Irish Open, the French Open, The Scottish Open.  I’ve got a good run. I can’t think of a better way to start my run off, but there’s still a lot of golf left for the rest of the season.”

Good Luck with your qualifying for The Open.

Marcus Fraser said he had fun out there, and was gracious in defeat;

“It was good fun, Danny is such a great guy and he’s an awesome player. It’s the first of many tournaments for him, that’s for sure. It was nice to have a chance but unfortunately I couldn’t do it. If I keep giving myself chances, one day it might happen eventually. But as I said before, he’s a great player and he’s going to be a future star on The European Tour, there’s no question about it. I’ve got to be pleased with the week. I played really well, three out of the four days and managed to make a few putts. It’s just the way this game goes sometimes, you have to take it on the chin and get ready for the next week.”

European Tour Bans Caddie for hiding extra club in a bush.

Thought you should know this, cheating is not just restricted to the soccer field or rugby pitch, it has now surfaced at the wonderful game of golf, at the highest level, the European Tour.

Jose Manuel Lara was disqualified from the BMW International Open by the European Tour, after his Caddie was caught trying to hide an extra club he had accidentally put in Jose Manuel Lara’s bag at the beginning of the round. The caddie, Mathias Vinson, created a ruse on the second hole of the round to try and dispose of the 15th club, in a bush. Playing partners Damien McGrane and Peter Hedblom noticed Vinson going toward the bush and asked him what he was doing.

According to European Tour chief referee John Paramor, Vinson replied to the players;

” I’ve got this wrong. I’ve done something bad. I wish it hadn’t happened.”

Normally the penalty for having an extra club in the bag would have been assessed as a pair of two-shot penalties, one for each hole he had the extra club in the bag. But this was not a normal affair, John Paramor said:

“It was clearly the caddie doing what he felt at the time was the right thing, but was clearly the wrong thing. He’s kind of been asked not to come back and that’s how the matter has been resolved.”

What strikes me as funny is that the two playing partners saw what was happening, but Jose did not apparently. You don’t suppose the caddie told Jose of the error, and it was then Jose’s idea to get around the problem, knowing if the caddie did get caught he could absolve himself of all blame. I wonder if John Paramor will be keeping a close watch on Jose Manuel Lara, and I also wonder what corrective action would have been taken if it was proved that Jose instigated the dastardly course of action.

Your comments are awaited.

European Tour BMW International Open 2nd Round. Swede Joel Sjoholm Leads.

 

 

Joel Sjoholm (-11) - BMW International Open day 2  (Getty Images)

Joel Sjoholm / Getty Images

Joel Sjöholm of Sweden has a two shot lead at the halfway stage of the BMW International Open as he eagerly seeks his first European Tour title. Joel had a wonderful second round at the Gut Lärchenhof golf course, with two eagles and four birdies for a  -6 under par, 66, and a tournament total of -11 under par. The snappily dressed Swede is happy to be at the top of the leaderboard;

” Now I saw that I’m up there, and of course it’s going to be a new situation for me. But then I watched a lot of Euro Cup the last two or three weekends, I’ve seen what happens after four or five minutes, and I’m happy to be on top at the moment, but I would rather be on top on Sunday. I’m just enjoying this so much, I don’t really think too much about it. It’s just a great feeling and a fantastic tournament. I’ve always played here in Germany, and it was good to play well at the new venue.”

Chris Wood is one of the four players tied for second spot at -9 under par, he is happy to be in contention;

“It’s always nice to put yourself in contention. Nothing beats it really, and the more and more you can do it, the more chance you have to win and hopefully one will come along. The results haven’t really backed up the way I’ve played. I’m finishing top twenty with what I feel is top ten, top-five form really. I’ve just got to stay patient and wait for that to happen.”

The others joining Chris are; Danny Willett, Paul McGinley and Fabrizio Zanotti, and all have a real chance to go on and win this title, I personally would like to see the elegantly dressed Joel Sjoholm step up and take the win.

The highest ranked player in the field this week, Martin Kaymer, has missed the cut. It seems he could not recover from the jet lag he suffered on the trip back from the States to Europe. Martin missed the -1 under par cut line by just one shot, finishing his two rounds in par.

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