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Five things to know: BMW International Open

Five things to know: BMW International Open

The European Tour touches down in Germany for the first time this season, and we look at five talking points before the action gets under way in Munich.

Olesen 18

 Winning Wallace

Defending champion Matt Wallace secured his third title in just his 39thEuropean Tour appearance - and the second of three wins in 2018 - with his victory in Pulheim last season. His triumph at Made in Denmark a few months later took his tally to four titles in just two seasons, and the 29-year-old Englishman shows no sign of taking his foot off the gas.

With two runner-up spots on the European Tour already this season, a tied third finish at the US PGA Championship in May for his best placing in a Major Championship, and a tied 12thfinish at the U.S. Open last week - which took him to the top of the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex - Wallace looks well-placed to become the first player to successfully defend the BMW International Open title.

Matt Wallace

Home Hero

Two-time Major Champion Martin Kaymer achieved his best European Tour result for three years at this event last season - finishing in a tie for second place behind Wallace - and home hopes will rest on the former World Number One’s shoulders this week as he bids for his second BMW International Open title.

The four-time Ryder Cup player has been searching for his first victory since the 2014 U.S. Open after battles with injury and loss of form in recent years. His game seems to be trending in the right direction, as he arrives on home soil with top ten finishes on both sides of the Atlantic under his belt this season.

New and old

The tournament returns to Golfclub München Eichenried for the 24th time this week, but players will face a new-look course that has undergone significant renovations – including all 18 greens. Other modifications include an overall lengthening of the course from 6,614 to 6,660 metres and various new spectator mounds across the layout.

The Munich venue is the spiritual home of the event and was scene of the very first shot played at the inaugural BMW International Open back in 1989. Multiple European Tour winner turned TV personality David Feherty would come out on top that week, securing a five-shot win over American Fred Couples

Golfclub Munchen Eichenried

Last day drama

Thorbjørn Olesen will be hoping to pick up where he left off at the BMW International Open after a record-breaking final round last season. As well as posting the lowest round of his European Tour career, his 61 also broke the record for the lowest round in the tournament’s history, beating the 62 that had been posted nine times previously.

The Dane’s 11 under par for the round was 16 shots better than his score on Saturday and, remarkably, he had already completed his day's work before the final group teed off. He still led when they were on the back nine, although Wallace's birdie on the 16th eventually saw his nine under par total overtaken, and he finished in a tie for second alongside Kaymer and Finn Mikko Korhonen.

Thorbjørn Olesen

The long drive

Celebrating its 31st anniversary, the BMW International Open has the longest consecutive sponsorship of any current European Tour event, with BMW synonymous with the event since 1989.

In that time the tournament has racked up a who’s who of champions, including Major winners Kaymer, Ernie Els, Henrik Stenson and Danny Willett, former World Number One Lee Westwood, and former European Number Ones Robert Karlsson and Colin Montgomerie.

Last year BMW confirmed it has extended the agreement to hold the tournament by four years until 2022.

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