Golf suspense in Cologne
BMW International Open, June 21 to 24
It took Spanish Pablo Larrazabal a five-hole play-off with his fellow countryman Sergio Garcia to claim the BMW International Open in Munich, Germany. It was only his second European Tour win, that moved him to the top ten in the 2012 Race to Dubai rankings. This year golf fans are hoping for an equally exciting of Germany’s top European Tour event.
From June 21 to 24, the BMW International Open
is staged at the Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof, not far from Cologne. Pablo Larrazabal will face tough competition from opponents like Colin Montgomerie, Retief Goosen, Paul Casey, Miguel Angel Jiménez, Paul Lawrie, Simon Dyson and – again – Sergio Garcia. The provisional entry list
also mentions three Dutch competitors, who are eager to grasp the German title from just across the border: Tim Sluiter, Robert-Jan Derksen and Joost Luiten.
High hopes for number 20
Local favourite Martin Kaymer has his own reasons for wanting to win the € 2 million tournament. Last year’s number one in the world currently holds the number 28 position on the Race to Dubai rankings and is ready for his first win in 2012. Kaymer won the BMW International Open before, in 2008, and won the French and Scottish Open in 2009. 2010 was another great year with a Major win (US PGA Championship), a place in the European Ryder Cup team and winner of the Race to Dubai. In 2011 Kaymer won in Shanghai (WGC Tournament and Abu Dhabi and was the number one in the world. He sees the BMW International Open
as his home tournament. He has played many rounds on this year’s tournament venue, the Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof.
Longest par-3 hole on the Tour
The championship course at Gut Lärchenhof was designed by Jack Nicklaus. The course boasts the longest par-3 hole on the European Tour. This 197-metre hole 17th is undoubtedly the most challenging hole that Gut Lärchenhof has to offer. This hole requires great accuracy: the tee shot must clear several small ponds before reaching the relatively small green, which is protected by a horseshoe-shaped bunker. If the tee shot is just a little too short, the ball will plummet into the deep sand.
Nicklaus designed the course with exciting finishes on both the front nine and the back nine in mind. His philosophy involves rewarding players who use intelligence and precision instead of strength. It is no coincidence that the par 4 hole 9 holds some interesting challenges for the players. At this hole, Ian Woosnam shot the ball into the water from the same spot three times and, with this, withdrew from the tournament. Another water hazard may prove to be decisive on the par 4 18th hole, along with narrow fairways and strategically located bunkers.
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