An absolute highlight of golf sports is approaching fast: From August 26th to 29th, the international golf elite will meet at Golfclub München-Nord Eichenried.
Four of the world's Top-15-ranked players are coming to Munich: Retief Goosen, Padraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia und Darren Clarke. All European players among the world's Top 50 will participate. Of the Top 30 in the European Tour's Order of Merit (the prize money ranking), 25 have booked in. Eichenried is expecting all ten players qualified for the Ryder Cup Team Europe at the moment, plus everybody who wants to take the last chance for a ticket to Oakland Hills.
"We are happy to offer to golf enthusiasts the strongest field of participants since the first BMW International Open was held in 1989," said Marco Kaussler, the Tournament Director. Not just 1.8 million Euros are at stake - the tournament is also the last chance to qualify for the Ryder Cup Team Europe. The 2004 BMW International Open is the last entry to the European team for the fourth time after 1997, 1999, and 2001, concerning the European Tour's prize money ranking.
Currently, Paul McGinley (Republic of Ireland) is the last qualified player, at 1,068,927.83 points. Still, the distance between the players down to 15th place is so small that each has a chance to enter the Ryder Cup Team Europe by finishing near the top of the BMW International Open ranking 2004.
So team captain Bernhard Langer won't know before late Sunday which ten players are qualified. Then he can make the decision who gets the two wildcards at his disposal.
Two well-known players might have some indirect influence on the Ryders Cup qualification: International stars Retief Goosen (South Africa) and John Daly (USA). If they finish top-ranked they could limit access to the points that many a European player values so highly.
For more information, please visit www.bmw-golfsport.com