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BMW International Open Preview & Picks
Posted by: Darren Ramowski on Wed 20 Jun 2012
Weekly feature from David Jenkins @ Fettes Management looking at the top players and picks for this week's European Tour event the BMW International Open.
Race to Dubai: BMW International Open
Guten Tag Herr feinen, schönen Abend - willkommen in Köln. We are in Cologne and it smells – I’m unsure if this is connected with being a town twinned with Liverpool or if it’s linked to the local aftershave we now know and love. We are here for one of Germanys many car manufacturer sponsored tournaments which could include The Seat Open, Land Rover International or Mini Match play but doesnt? German eh? However, as with everything Germanic, this is a precise affair starting at 07:30 precisely on Thursday when Bradley Dredge (125/1 with Bet365) clips one into the light rough.
Date: 21st – 24th June 2012
Venue: Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof, Cologne, Germany
The strangely titled Gut Larchenof Golf Club hosts this event for the first time however the venue has previously hosted the German Masters 11 times between 1998-2009. It’s a Jack Nicklaus designed challenge but fair test and, I’m told, all about rewarding precision and intelligence over brute strength. The final holes of both the front and back nein’s deliver the biggest challenge ensuring an exciting finish! Well, it couldn’t be as bad as the US Open!
Yards: 7,289 yards
Par: Par 72
Despite the US Open just last week and the impending British Open, the field stacks up to be of decent quality including six players who have won the German Masters here. This includes 8 time European number one; Colin Montgomerie (1998) (300/1), Sergio Garcia (1999) (12/1), James Kingston (2009) (150/1) and Bernhard Langer (2001) (80/1) who is out to claim the only German-staged European Tour he has not won. And Paul Casey (80/1 – all SportingBet) will make yet another comeback. Again.
Since the days of General Franco and Adolf Hitler chillaxing around World War II with their stuffed donkeys and their lederhosen, the Spaniards have done well in Germany. In golfing terms, these include last year’s winner Pablo Larrazabal (33/1), Antonio’s son - Ignatio Garrido (125/1), the oiley handed Jimenez (55/1 – all SkyBet) and the legendary Seve. However the English and the funky Swedes also have a rich history taking the Bratwurst and Blue Nun from the Krauts in their own backyard.
Ones to watch:
Fighting for a big €333,330 is local lad Martin Kaymer (15/2 at PaddyPower) who organisers appear is the spectator’s favourite despite the fierce Cologne – Dusseldorf rivalry. That said the former world number 1 (currently 13) is on the ascendancy again with nothing worse than 20th position in his last 7 non-major starts and after an encouraging performance at last week’s US Open (tied 15th) a high finish is just what is needed for certain Ryder Cup inclusion - home crowds or not.
A newbie on my hall of fame but it’s the more German than Austrian sounding Bernd Weisberger (translated to Burnt White Burger?) (50/1 with Ladbrokes) a 2012 winner at the Ballentines in April is one to potentially set the (sort of) home fires burning over the Rhine and in the far hills of the Vienna. Had 4 top fives in 2011, and with his maiden victory should carry enough momentum and local support to achieve a place this week before driving his Trabant back home.
Ones to win:
Rightly cowering like a prisoner of the Gestapo last week to avoid a clearly tough US Open, Paul Lawrie (20/1 everywhere including BlueSq) will be one of the few fresh faced and mentally strong out on the links this week. Focusing on the Ryder Cup (as he is right to do), the Aberdonian still currently carries the best form of anyone else on Tour and hopes it to continue to picking up another trophy before popping the cork on the local Sekt before a fly by from the local Luftwaffe signifies what would be his second win of the year and his 6th top ten in 13 starts. Form indeed!
With three top fives in 9 starts on the regular tour and a pleasing 10th in the US Open, the European Tours best putter, Retief Goosen (26/1 at BetFair), a previous winner of the tournament, is worthy of watching this week. With top 20 rankings for all relevant precision and intellectually technical stats – a place finish is not only likely, it is mathematically guaranteed. Something that those detail driven Germans quite like - vorsprung durch technic, as they often say.
Given the mentions above, look no further than picking last year’s victor Pablo Larrazabal as top finishing Spaniard for a 6/1 return from Ladbrokes – with the only two real contenders Alvaro Quiros (precision? Nah!) and Sergio Garcia (intelligence?) – it’s in the bag!
Sticking with Spain (well, the Euro Championships are on!) and the podium sitter from last year, select Pablo Larrazabal to only finish inside the top ten and win yourself a return of 50/3 with BWin.
I know I’ve picked mostly Spain here today but there will be no saur krauts unless Kaymer misses the cut (7/2 with BetFair) but even then, this would then deliver something towards your weekend Liebfraumilch. Enjoy!
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