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Five things to know: BMW International Open 

Five things to know: BMW International Open 

The European Swing reaches a climax this week at the BMW International Open as a legend of European golf bids farewell to the DP World Tour. Here are your five things to know.

European Swing

The European Swing, the fourth of five Global Swings on the 2024 Race to Dubai, reaches a finale this week with lots at stake for those in action as the DP World Tour returns to Germany for the second time this season.

The BMW International Open is the sixth and final counting events of the Swing with 3,000 Race to Dubai Ranking points again on offer, 500 of those for the winner.

High on the minds of those in contention to finish as the Swing Champion, are the rewards of qualification for each of the ‘Back 9’ events from late August onwards and a spot at the Genesis Scottish Open if not already exempt.

In addition, the top five, not otherwise exempt, from the Race to Dubai Rankings (within the top 20) after the BMW International Open get a spot into The 152nd Open at Royal Troon later this month.

Langer makes final DP World Tour appearance

Bernhard Langer, the most successful German golfer of all time, will tee it up on the DP World Tour for the 513th and final time this week.

During his World Golf Hall of Fame career, the former World Number One has played on ten Ryder Cup teams and captained Team Europe to victory in 2004.

The 66-year-old, who has 42 DP World Tour wins to his name, was set to make his final appearance at the Masters Tournament, an event he won in 1985 and 1993. However, he was forced to withdraw after undergoing surgery on an Achilles injury he sustained practicing in February.

He returned to action three months later on the PGA TOUR Champions, where he holds the record of 46 for most career titles.

This will be the first time he has played in Munich since 2012 and the stage is set to provide a worthy farewell to one of European golf’s great figures at this level of the game.

Lawrence defends

Thriston Lawrence became just the second South African to win the BMW International Open as he claimed his fourth DP World Tour title in 19 months at last year’s edition.

Lawrence entered the final day at Golfclub München Eichenried four shots adrift and found himself two behind Joost Luiten with five to play but, after birdieing the 15th, the par-three 17th proved critical as he made a birdie and the Dutchman three-putted to lose the lead for the first time all day.

He parred the last for a 69 to finish at 13 under, with Luiten later unable to make a birdie on the closing par-five.

Lawrence was the first winner of the DP World Tour era at the 2021 Joburg Open and he added another title at the Omega European Masters en route to being crowned the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year for 2022.

Another win in his homeland at the Investec South African Open Championship came at the start of the 2022 season, before going without a top ten in the subsequent seven months prior to his win in Germany.

Inside the field

Away from Langer and defending champion Lawrence, there are a host of recognisable names in the field.

After two top tens in his last five starts stateside, dual member Ryan Fox makes his third appearance in a regular DP World Tour event this season as he begins a three-week stretch in Europe that will also include the Genesis Scottish Open and The 152nd Open.

The New Zealander is joined by 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett who won his maiden DP World Tour title at the BMW International Open in 2012 at Golf, Club Gut Lärchenhof Cologne.

Yannik Paul is joined by twin brother Jeremy, who plays predominantly on the Korn Ferry Tour, as the pair make just their third appearance together in the same event on the DP World Tour, most recently doing so at the acciona Open de España presented by Madrid in 2022. They are just two of several home stars on show, which also includes Matti Schmid, Maximillian Kieffer and last week's winner Marcel Siem.

Fellow 2024 Race to Dubai winners Jesper Svensson, Keita Nakajima, Jordan Gumberg and Matteo Manassero are also in the field.

Germany’s most iconic tournament

The BMW International Open is the longest-spanning professional golf tournament in Germany and was first held in 1989.

This year it celebrates its 35th edition and the roll of honour includes many of golf’s biggest names.

American Paul Azinger (1990, 1992), Denmark’s Thomas Bjørn (2000, 2002) and Spain’s Larrazábal (2011, 2015) each hold the record for two victories at the event.

Like today, the venue for the first tournament was Golfclub München Eichenried.

From 1994 to 1996 the event switched to St. Eurach Land- und Golfclub, while the venue alternated between Eichenried and Gut Lärchenhof, near Cologne, between 2012 and 2018.

The youngest – and, to date, the only German – winner is Martin Kaymer, who claimed an emotional victory at the 20th anniversary of the tournament in 2008, aged 23 years and 177 days.

Other winners include Sandy Lyle, Colin Montgomerie, Miguel Ángel Jiménez and Ernie Els while John Daly won in 2001 with the lowest score in the history of the tournament (261 shots, -27).

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