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Tuesday, 18 June 2019
Martin Kaymer  (Getty Images)
Martin Kaymer (Getty Images)

Former World Number One Martin Kaymer went down memory lane as he recalled his 2008 BMW International Open victory at Golfclub München Eichenried.

Kaymer returns to the scene of his second European Tour title this week, although the Munich course has undergone extensive changes since his win 11 years ago, including renovations on all 18 greens.

The 2010 US PGA Championship and 2014 U.S. Open Championship winner is the only German to claim victory in the event's 30-year history after he edged out Dane Anders Hansen in a play-off.

Kaymer started the final round six shots clear, but needed a birdie at the last to force a play-off after Hansen shot a five under 67 before holing another in the first extra hole to seal victory.

And Kaymer spoke about the pressures he felt in front of a partisan home crowd as he made history in Munich.

"It was a very intense week for many reasons, very emotional," Kaymer said. "It is never easy to play in front of your own country and then being in the lead. I think I was leading by five or six shots going into the final round.

"It's very difficult with that expectation to go into the first tee. After 11 holes, my lead was gone and then it was quite difficult sometimes to keep that momentum or to keep that belief up.

"That was something I was very proud of. In the end, I hung in and gave myself the chance to win and fortunately it worked out.

"That was an amazing feeling walking down 18 with all the German flags in the background. It was a feeling that is very difficult to describe and maybe that's why you shouldn't even try. It's very special."

Kaymer has not won since collecting his second Major title of his career at Pinehurst Resort in 2014, but he recorded his best result in three years in this event last year when it was held at Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof near Cologne.

He finished one shot behind champion Matt Wallace in a tie for second alongside Finland's Mikko Korhonen and Dane Thorbjørn Olesen and is hoping to go one better this time around.

"I think the amount of pressure is the same," he added. "You just see it from a difficult angle when you are young.

"You are so attached and you are so into it, which can also help and can give you that little bit of extra that you need in order to win.

"But when you get a little bit older, more experienced and winning other tournaments around the world - it can relax you. But the pressure is still the same."

Fellow home favourite Maximilian Kieffer produced his best performance at the BMW International Open in seven appearances at the event when he finished 12th last year, and he spoke of his pride at playing in the historic competiton on German soil.

"I'm looking forward to this tournament a lot. Being back in Munich, it's just a very special atmosphere here.

"There's always pressure in every tournament but obviously in the big events on home soil, you probably want to perform a little bit better.

"I think just because the history of the tournament that's developed here over the years. I think that's what makes it so special."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1PAVAN, AndreaITA18-15
2FITZPATRICK, MatthewENG18-15
T3CABRERA BELLO, RafaESP18-13
T3QUIROS, AlvaroESP18-13
T3MOLINARI, EdoardoITA18-13
T3BEZUIDENHOUT, ChristiaanRSA18-13

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