After the enthralling drama of the US Open Championship, it is back to European soil for the BMW International Open in Germany. Here is all you need to know.
Spain's Pablo Larrazábal shot a flawless final round 66 to win his fourth European Tour title, finishing one shot clear of Sweden’s Henrik Stenson at Golfclub München Eichenried. Stenson had surged into contention with a round of 65 that featured five birdies and an eagle on the long 11th, but Larrazábal kept his nerve to win the title for a second time, having also triumphed at the same venue in 2011. This year’s tournament returns to Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof, in Cologne, where Fabrizio Zanotti claimed his maiden European Tour title two years ago, and where Masters Champion Danny Willett earned his breakthrough title in 2012.
David Feherty won the first BMW International Open in 1989 and to date, no-one has managed to defend the title. Six Major Champions have lifted the trophy: Paul Azinger (1990 and 1992), Sandy Lyle (1991), John Daly (2001), Martin Kaymer (2008), Danny Willett (2012), Ernie Els (2013). Azinger and Thomas Bjørn (2000 and 2002) are the only multiple winners.
Masters Champion Willett returns to the scene of his maiden triumph in 2012. The Englishman defeated Australian Marcus Fraser in a four- hole play-off, having previously recorded 19 top ten finishes on the European Tour. Stenson celebrates the tenth anniversary of his victory in the tournament, having also finished runner up 12 months ago and in 2014. Sergio Garcia will be hoping to continue his fine recent form, having followed his win in the AT&T Byron Nelson on the US PGA Tour last month with a tied fifth finish in last week’s U.S. Open. There is a strong German representation, including Marcel Siem and Max Kieffer, both of whom will be hoping to become the first home winner since Martin Kaymer in 2008. Meanwhile, Denmark’s Bjørn will be chasing a third victory, having previously claimed the title in 2000 and 2002.
Golf Club Gut Larchenhof will be playing host to the BMW International Open for the third time. Previously the venue for the German Masters for 11 consecutive years from 1998-2009, the course measures 7,229 and was designed by 18 time Major Champion Jack Nicklaus in 1996.
The key stats
• There have been 24 different winners from the previous 27 editions of the event.
• The BMW International Open began in 1989. This tournament has the longest consecutive sponsor of any current European Tour event, now in its 28th year.
• Fabrizio Zanotti made European Tour history at the 2014 BMW International Open. The 32 year old became the first player from Paraguay to win a European Tour event and i. In the process, Paraguay became the 36th different nation to win on tThe European Tour.
• The first five-man play-off in European Tour history took place at the 1992 BMW International Open. Former US Ryder Cup Captain, Paul Azinger, prevailed against Glen Day, Anders Forsbrand, Mark James and Bernhard Langer.
• The last three European Tour events to be played at Golf Club Gut Larchenhof have all been decided by play-offs. In the 2009 German Masters, James Kingston defeated Anders Hanson. In the 2012 BMW International Open, Danny Willett edged out Marcus Fraser and in 2014 Fabrizio Zanotti beat Grégory Havret, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Henrik Stenson.