The DP World Tour returns to Germany this week as Golfclub München Eichenried plays host to the 2022 BMW International Open. Here are your five things to know.
Shepherd makes pro debut
From Massachusetts to Munich. Englishman Laird Shepherd will make his professional debut at Eichenried this week, days after his amateur career concluded by playing at the 122nd U.S. Open at Brookline.
The 24-year-old earned his exemption into last year’s Open Championship and this year’s Masters Tournament and U.S. Open courtesy of a remarkable comeback to win the 126th Amateur Championship at Nairn in June, 2021.
Shepherd recovered from eight down after 17 holes of the 36-hole and four down with four to play to claim the title on the second extra hole.
Playing this week on a tournament invite, Shepherd will fulfil a lifetime’s ambition of beginning his career in the professional ranks after overcoming back and knee injuries in recent times.
The Brighton-born golfer, who also worked in a call centre for Tesco during the Covid-19 lockdown, made the cut in last year’s Cazoo Classic at the London Golf Club.
Horschel targets BMW ‘Triple Crown’
Billy Horschel makes his BMW International Open debut with the opportunity to engrave his name on all three current BMW tournaments in men’s golf and make history in the process.
The American, the highest-ranked player in this week’s field at 14th in the Official World Golf Ranking, won the PGA TOUR’s BMW Championship, the third event of the 2014 FedEx Cup Playoffs on his way to winning the FedExCup that year.
He added to that with victory at the BMW PGA Championship, one of the DP World Tour’s Rolex Series events, last September to become only the second American after the legendary Arnold Palmer in 1975 to win the prestigious tournament held at Wentworth.
Horschel is already a winner in 2022 after he claimed the seventh PGA TOUR title of his career at the Memorial Tournament earlier in June.
Alongside the 35-year-old, four-time Major Champion Rory McIlroy is the only player to have won both the BMW Championship and BMW PGA Championship. Miguel Ángel Jiménez won the BMW PGA Championship in 2008, four years after he won the BMW International Open and the BMW Asian Open, which was held for the last time in 2008.
The 2022 Race is on…
The BMW International Open is the 21st event on the 2022 DP World Tour schedule, with valuable points on offer in the DP World Tour Rankings.
There are a total of 2,750 Race to Dubai points on offer to the field this week, with 460 awarded to the winner.
Belgium’s Thomas Pieters, who won the year’s opening Rolex Series event at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, is fifth in the standings and among the tournament favourites in Germany.
New Zealand’s Ryan Fox, another winner already this season at the Ras al Khaimah Classic, is just behind the Ryder Cup player in sixth and will look to maintain his excellent run of performances, including runner-up finishes at both the Soudal Open and Dutch Open in May.
Five-year anniversary of surprise Romero success
This year’s BMW International Open marks the 33rd edition of the tournament, which up until 2015 was for a time the only DP World Tour event held in Germany.
The tournament has witnessed some thrilling finishes over the years, including when Argentina’s Andrés Romero birdied seven of his last 11 holes to earn a one-shot victory over three players in second place.
The 2017 victory at Golfclub München Eichenried was his first on the Tour in almost ten years, dating back to the Deutsche Bank Players Championship of Europe.
The former top-25 player in the world, who has finished in the top ten at three of the four Major Championships during his career, now plays largely on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
Open qualifying spots
After Ryan Fox, Victor Perez and Adrian Meronk secured their spots in the field for The Open at the Dutch Open last month, players will this week seek to earn a coveted place at St Andrews in July.
The first five DP World Tour members and any DP World Tour members tying for fifth place, not otherwise exempt, in the top 20 of the DP World Tour Rankings on completion of this week’s tournament will ensure they tee it up at the Home of Golf.
Jordan Smith is battling to secure his place at St Andrews this week and nine DP World Tour Rankings points separate Wu Ashun from a place in the field at The 150th Open. Thorbjørn Olesen and Rafa Cabrera Bello are also playing this week and are in need of strong performances to move up the season-long standings in their bids to play in the final Major Championship of 2022.