Golf Club GutLärchenhof in Pulheim plays host to the BMW International Open in Germany this week, where a premium is put on intelligence and precision rather than strength.
A strong field will gather at the Jack Nicklaus designed course, many of whom were battling the slick greens of Shinnecock Hills in the U.S. Open Championship just last week, including Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer.
Accuracy will be key this week, especially off the tee, with very tight landing areas onto fairways that are fast and firm, thanks to dry weather conditionsleading up to the event. The course will be a contrast to that of Shinnecock Hills last week, as Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof is flat, treelined and features water hazards on half of the holes.
With all that in mind, here’s who our statistics specialist believes could perform well.
Fresh off his second place finish last week, Tommy Fleetwood will be riding a wave of confidence, especially when you take into a count his final day 63 – the joint lowest score in U.S. Open history. When you dig deeper into the 2017 Race to Dubai winner’s stats, it comes as no surprise as to why he has been contending in the Majors. The Englishman has a stroke average of 68.88 in 32 rounds this season and is second in the greens in regulation stats, hitting 77.2% of greens. At last year’s tournament he finished in a tie for sixth place, four strokes behind the winner Andres Romero, but the confidence he will have gained from an impressive Major week makes it is tough to look past Fleetwood.
Andy Sullivan comes into this week on the back of three top tens in his last four starts and has a stroke average of 69.32, which is 1.72 shots better than the field on average. With driving accuracy one of the keys to success at Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof this week, there are few people who could take advantage of this more than the Englishman, who is in the top ten for strokes gained off the tee this year. When you add the small matter of a Ryder Cup fast approaching, Sullivan will be looking to use this week to springboard his way into the automatic qualification places and catch the attention of Captain Thomas Bjørn.
Having impressed during his rookie season on the European Tour in 2017, Thomas Detry is looking to push on in pursuit of his maiden European Tour victory. The Belgian will be quietly confident coming into this week, after finishing in a tie for second place at this event last year, alongside Richard Bland and Sergio Garcia. His 16 under par total included an opening round of 65 and a closing round of 66 to finish one behind the leader. With a scoring average of 68 at the BMW International Open, positive memories of golf in Germany, and a further five top 25 finishes this season, this could be a great opportunity for the youngster to find a whole new level in his career.
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