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Friday, 19 March 2010

Niclas Fasth, Nick Dougherty and Paul Casey, who all finished in the top ten at the US Open Championship, make an immediate return to action after the drama of Oakmont Country Club when they join a world-class field for the BMW International Open at Golfclub München Eichenried this week.

Swedish Ryder Cup player Fasth signed off with a 70 for outright fourth place in Pennsylvania with Englishmen Dougherty tied seventh and Casey tied tenth.

World Number Five Ernie Els, who won his first US Open Championship at Oakmont in 1994 and subsequently added a second US Open crown in 1997 and Open Championship title in 2002, is another to have travelled from Pittsburgh to Munich where a completely different challenge awaits.

In contrast to the US Open, where only a handful of players broke par,  the BMW International Open is renowned for low scoring. Since the tournament moved to Golfclub München Eichenried, the average winning score has been 266, 22 under par, with an average 36 hole cut of three under par.

Henrik Stenson defends after winning the title last September in a dramatic finale, conjuring up a magnificent eagle three at the first play-off hole to defeat South African Retief Goosen and Ireland’s Padraig Harrington.

The Swede has been higher than World Number Seven since that victory, having added the Dubai Desert Classic and the World Golf Championships – Accenture Match Play titles to his CV this season.

But he will be one of six past champions in the field as he is joined by Thomas Björn of Denmark (2000 and 2002), Marc Farry of France (1996), Peter Fowler of Australia (1993), Miguel Angel Jiménez of Spain (2004) and Scots Sandy Lyle (1991) and Colin Montgomerie (1999).

Two players will be aiming for their own BMW doubles. Dane Anders Hansen will be looking to add the BMW International Open to the BMW PGA Championship title he won at Wentworth Club last month, a feat only achieved once before, by Montgomerie in 1999.

Similarly Frenchman Raphaël Jacquelin will be hoping to follow his success in the BMW Asian Open in April with victory at Golfclub München Eichenried, completing a BMW double that only Jiménez has achieved when he won both titles in the 2004 season.

The Munich public will be also be looking forward to watching Bernhard Langer and Marcel Siem playing for the first time on home soil since winning the World Cup for Germany in December 2006.

To listen to player interviews previewing the BMW International Open please click here.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1FASTH, NiclasSWE18-13
T2LANGER, BernhardGER18-11
T2LIMA, José-FilipePOR18-11
T4LAFEBER, MaartenNED18-10
T4HANSEN, AndersDEN18-10
T4GONZALEZ, RicardoARG18-10
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