Martin Kaymer is hoping that his army of German fans can drive him to a successful defence of the BMW International Open he won so spectacularly at the Golfclub München Eichenried last year.
The 24 year old German will draw on the memory of defeating Denmark’s Anders Hansen in a sudden-death play-off last year as he heads home from the US Open to embark on the European leg of his season.
Kaymer’s emotive victory last year, when he became the first German winner in the 20 year history of the BMW International Open, provided one of the highlights of The European Tour season, as his first extra hole birdie at the par five 18th sent the huge German crowd wild with excitement.
“My memories of last year remind me of one of the best weeks of my career,” said Kaymer. “It was amazing, just unbelievable to win like that in front of a German crowd.
“The crowds were amazing: it felt like I had an army on my side. I actually felt a little bit for Anders during the play-off because the crowd were so on my side, but I suppose that was always going to be like that with a German in the play-off and I will never forget it.
“To win a BMW tournament was special too. I am not just saying this because they are one of my sponsors, but BMW run the best events on Tour.
“I know a lot of the players agree with that, so many of the guys on Tour say it. You just have to go to a BMW event to see that they put a lot of emphasis on giving everyone a great experience – everything is off the highest quality and the way they look after the players is so good.
“They have been doing the same thing for so many years with their cars – the BMW brand is so strong and you can see that at all of their golf events.”
One glance at this week’s entry list proves Kaymer’s point emphatically, with so many of The European Tour’s best players making their way to Munich to support one of The Tour’s most valued partners.
Despite a Monday finish at the US Open Championship, 15 of the 55 European Tour Members who joined Kaymer in New York for last week’s second Major are following the defending champion to the Golfclub München Eichenried, including former US Open Champion Retief Goosen, Rory McIlroy and World Number Five Henrik Stenson, the highest ranked player in the field.
Former Open Champions John Daly (also a former BMW International Open winner) and Paul Lawrie will also be in Munich, alongside Germany’s most famous golfing son, the legendary Bernhard Langer, who continues to be a dominant force in world golf as he extends his illustrious career on the European Senior Tour and the Champions Tour in America.
With such a strong field headed by Germany’s new golfing leader Kaymer and driven by Germany’s leading car manufacturer in BMW, it promises to be an exciting week.