Bernhard Langer is targeting his first European Tour win for ten years as he makes a rare appearance at the BMW International Open.
The 54 year old, who now plays most of his golf on the Champions Tour in America, has won 42 European Tour titles but his last victory came in Spain in November 2002.
And while the German has plenty of silverware in his trophy cabinet, this event has so far eluded him – with five runner-up finishes the former Masters Tournament winner’s best result in 22 attempts.
“I will do my best to be up there with the front-runners,” said Langer. “You never know how things will turn out. I have been really successful in the USA in recent months, and my swing is in good shape. We’ll just have to wait and see how things pan out over the next few days.
“I am very well. My thumb has been fine again since the end of last year. I can practice 100 per cent again, play every shot, and even take real divots. Before, it was difficult. It all took longer than my doctor told me it would take. I did a lot of physiotherapy, and now I feel very well."
Langer is not the only home hope targeting victory at Golf club Gut Lärchenhof, with Martin Kaymer the tournament favourite and in-form Marcel Siem also set to contend.
Siem has only missed one cut all season, and has notched an impressive six top-20 finishes to climb to 21st on The Race to Dubai.
And the 31 year old hopes to convert that form into a victory on a course not far from Ratingen where he grew up.
“I know the golf course very well and I played it the last two weeks, I think at least six rounds here and prepared very well,” he said. “It's great. A lot of friends are coming out, my family is here and the golf course is great. I hope the weather turns into a little bit more sun, and going to be a great golf tournament.”