Miguel Angel Jiménez, the current European Tour Number One, picked up two early birdies as the first round of the BMW International Open got underway at Golfclub Munchen Eichenried as he launched his bid for a BMW double.
Jiménez won the BMW PGA Championship – The European Tour’s flagship event – at Wentworth Club last month after a play-off with Oliver Wilson to become the first player to win all three BMW sponsored events following his victories in 2004 of the BMW Asian Open and the BMW International Open.
His rich vein of form continued last week when he finished joint sixth in the US Open Championship at Torrey Pines and he now has his sights set on a second BMW title of the season as he looks to consolidate his position at the top of The European Tour Order of Merit.
Speaking at the pre-tournament press conference, Jiménez said: “Before I won the BMW PGA, the long term goal was The Ryder Cup, but that’s it's almost assured now, so I’m changing the goals. Now it's the Order of Merit. But I always say the same thing, you need to concentrate on finishing the round and playing this week.
“I've been playing very well for the last few weeks, and I want to keep my game on the same level and have a chance on the weekend and be a factor in the tournament. I've been playing very well for a while now winning the BMW three weeks ago and just coming from the US Open now. I am struggling a little bit with the jet lag and you are always tired after a Major, but I hope to get my chances for the weekend.
Birdies at the 11th and 12th got Jiménez off to an ideal start in the 20th anniversary edition of the BMW International Open although it was another Spaniard, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño who made the most spectacular start, holing a soft seven iron from 131 yards for an eagle two on the fourth to leap to two under par in the first group out on the course.
Frenchman Jean-Francois Luquin also made a good start, picking up three birdies on four holes from the fifth to move to three under par.