Monday, 18 August 2003
BMW International Open – three words that symbolise golf at the highest level. This has been the case in the past and it promises to be the same again at this year's tournament being played from August 28th to 31st.

The BMW International Open 2002 was just the latest example of the superb level of golf regularly on display at this tournament. The outstanding performances particularly of Thomas Björn from Denmark and local hero Bernhard Langer made the BMW International Open 2002 an extremely tense and exciting tournament. On the opening day Langer demonstrated his extraordinary skills with a round of 64 at the Munich North-Eichenried golf club. This was good enough for the lead at the end of Round 1, but the tournament was far from over.

Björn was also in great shape. After an opening round of 68, he scored 64, 66, and a final round 66 for a total score of 24 under. Even though Bernhard Langer was suffering from a minor infection, he refused to drop away and delivered exactly what the spectators had come for: fantastic golf and a thrilling battle for the title. After rounds of 69 and 67 on Friday and Saturday the 45-year-old German was still in a promising position on the eve of the final round. On Sunday Langer played a round of 68, well under par once again – but not quite enough to beat Björn. At the end of the day Langer finished four strokes behind the Dane and tied for second place while Björn secured the title.

After the tournament, Langer displayed his normal great sportsmanship and praised his rival. "Thomas putted better and chipped better than anybody else today”, he said. “I have given my best but today I lost against an almost faultless player.“ Björn also praised Langer’s performance: "There is no player who is more professional than him.“

However, it was not only Björn and Langer who entertained the spectators at the Munich North-Eichenried golf club with first class golf. Many other top stars competed in the BMW International Open 2002 – amongst them one of the crowd’s favourites, John Daly. With his renowned massive drives, he played his way to tied 10th place with a 14 under par total. After the tournament Daly commented: "I have gained a lot of confidence in playing here.“

That was probably the case for Thomas Björn as well. In the BMW International Open 2002 he re-confirmed his reputation as one of the best golfers on the European Tour. In the 2003 season, the Dane continued his great form, notably with his second place finish at the Open Championship. But now there is a particular challenge waiting for Björn: he will have to try and defend his BMW International Open title. The 32-year-old will have the opportunity to make golf history this year. Should he succeed and win the tournament in the north of Munich this year, following his victories in 2000 and 2002, he will be the first player to have won the BMW International Open three times.

However, this goal won’t be easy to achieve for Björn – as the competition will be as tough as ever in 2003. Once again Bernhard Langer will be amongst his opponents. South African Ernie Els, Englishman Nick Faldo and Irishman Padraig Harrington are only some of the top international stars who have already entered the tournament. And all of them will be doing their very best to beat Björn. So the crowds at the BMW International Open can look forward to another top golf event again this year. The tournament will be held at the Munich North-Eichenried golf club from August 28th to 31st.

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