On To The Next Big One
After all the excitement, calamity and controversy of the US Open were back on with some regular tournament play on the European Tour and what a cracking event we have to get things going again.
There is an absolutely star studded field, with many big names having made the long haul journey across the pond including the likes of Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson and Martin Kaymer. Maybe no surprise with such a substantial prize fund on offer however they will also be competing for an extremely coveted title that has seen 24 different names lift the trophy from the 28 times this event has been played.
Just like the previous BMW event that was held at Wentworth you can expect this to be superb showing and one you won't want to miss out on. The coverage is usually superb, the field is obviously star studded and typically there is plenty of excitement and exceptional golf throughout the week.
Rewind To Last Year And Previous Years
Last year we were at Golf Club Larchenhof where Henrik Stenson picked up his tenth European Tour title and second BMW International Open trophy. The final day provided an abundance of exceptional golf, especially as 36 holes had to be completed due to prior delays. He ended up making 3 birdies in his final stretch of holes to win by 3 clear strokes from Darren Fitchard and Thorbjorn Olesen.
In 2015 we were at the same venue as this year, this time Henrik Stenson was only able to finish in second place where he missed out by 1 stroke to Pablo Larrazabal, who has also won this event before back in 2011
In 2014 we had Henrik Stenson featuring and once again narrowly missing out. This time in a four man play off with Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Gregory Havret and our eventual winner Fabrizio Zanotti.
Other notable performances in previous years have come from Ernie Els who won here in 2013, beating Thomas Bjorn who has also won this event twice but way back in 2000 and 2002.
Big bombing John Daly currently holds the tournament record of -27 set in 2001. I'm certainly not expecting this record to be broken due to further development and enhanced difficulty of the course in recent times. However I am expecting scoring to be very good and we should see our winner shooting around -20.
Lastly Sergio Garcia makes a return to this event where his best finish came in 2011, losing in a playoff to his fellow Spanish competitor Pablo Larrazabal.
This will be the 23rd time that Golfclub Munchen Eichenried has hosted this event since its launch in 1989, so plenty of course history to go by and an abundance of knowledge to tap in to.
The course itself measures a very respectable 7,235 yards and has a traditional layout and par of 72. The holes work there way through a 350 acre plot of lush Bavarian woodland and to add to its difficulty it is littered with very well paced hazards that should ensure that players keep their wits about them. I believe something in the region of 80 new bunkers have been added to the course and a few extra yards added to its length
The terrain is considered to be relatively flat, conditioning is superb and as long as weather plays a favorable roll players will really enjoy attacking this course and going on birdie blitz.
Key stats, strategy and other things to consider.
It may be worth taking player fatigue into consideration, some of the field have just had a grueling experience, stomping their way around Erin Hills. 4 days of tournament play, the addition of practice rounds all on a high energy sapping layout. Accompany that with fatigue caused by the intensity of play and obviously stresses from travel. A good example of this and someone I may well fade due to above reasons and more is Bernd Weisberger. Although in unreal form, his schedule concerns me. Traveled from the US to Austria to play his home event, soon as that was over flew back to the US to compete well in the US Open and has now flown back to Germany to compete this week. I know these guys are in great shape and plan as well as they can, however inevitably things catch up with you and trying to perform your best when low on energy is probably one of the toughest struggles these tour players face.
As i mentioned earlier this is a course than can be attacked and after looking deep into previous years it has always had a tendency to suit the bigger hitter and birdie machine.
This week I am as always looking at recent form, not just from US Open but also from other tours and of course regular events prior to Erin Hills. Course history and course fit I will weight highly and in terms of playing style i want good length from the tee and ability to convert birdie or better chances.. No wonder the likes of Sergio and company are the highest priced this week, however there is loads of this style of players also available and a fraction of the cost.
Sergio Garcia, $11,700. - Of the 3 players available I have to with Sergio. His schedule has been far less taxing than Weisbergers, his form currently is far better than Stensons. That aside and providing he has traveled well has the perfect attributes to finally pick up a win here. Big time bookies favorite and understandably so.
$9,000 - $10,000
Martin Kaymer, $9,700 - This being his home event, he will want to perform well in front of the huge support he will receive. Had a solid performance at Erin Hills to build upon and also has the perfect style of play to pick up a long overdue win or at least a top 10 placing.
Tommy Fleetwood, $9,400 - Love the way he's playing right now and the way he's approaching each event. Great performance at Erin Hills should give him loads of confidence on a course much better suited to his nature.
$8,000 - $9,000
Pablo Larrazabal $8,700 - Pablo absolutely loves this course, he even stated on twitter this week that this is by far his favorite course and event of the year. He has been very verbal and usually when he is this active its because he is high in confidence and expects a solid performance. In addition he didn't have the stresses of the US Open so should be coming into this extremely fresh.
George Coetzee $8,400 - He can be a little hit or miss at times with only 8/14 cuts made this year, however he does have 5 top 10 placings from his made cuts. This layout is perfect for his driving game and aggressive style of golf. So coming off a missed cut at Erin Hills and an early chance to fly back hopefully George will get himself yet another top 10 finish.
Jordan Smith $8,200 - Im almost running out of new good things to say about Jordan, just trust me and stick him in your line ups. I know he has practiced well coming into this event and has the perfect ball flight and young confidence to score big in your line ups.
David Lipsky $8,000 - Playing very solid golf this year, usually very reliable to make the cut and push for better placing. think this could be a solid cash pick on a course that should suit his game very well.
$7,000 - $8,000
Eddie Pepperell $7,600 - Eddie has featured in a good number of my write ups recently and hasn't let me down yet, straight off the back of a solid US Open performance and plenty of solid form leading up to it. He is only worth drafting when its clear for all to see that he's in a good place and right now that couldn't be more the case.
Marcel Siem $7,500 - Missed the cut at the BMW at Wentworth, however finished T8 in both events either side. Playing in front of home fans this week and knows the course very well. Game is more than solid enough to see himself contending here.
Nicolas Colsaerts $7,000 - What exceptional value for a player of such high caliber and in outstanding form, last 2 tournaments ahve seen him placed T8 and T3. Hits the ball long and when on form makes copious amounts of birdies.
Dean Burmester $6,900 - A player that ticks almost every stat category, has had an unbelievable year so far that in many ways could of been so much better. Yet to miss a cut. makes loads of birdies or better and has the right attributes to compete at the top of the leader board this week.
Thomas Detry £6,700 - This is potentially a bit of a bigger gamble. he has an unreal amount of talent and extremely capable of shooting low. I will draft him in a few GPP line ups in the hope he goes on a few birdie runs and scores well in DK rather than necessarily placing well
JBE Kruger $6,500 - Came very close to winning the Nordea Masters, playing very well at the moment and although its no secret that I'm not his biggest fan. I did win some cash betting on him 2 weeks back so hoping my better luck with him continues.
Best of luck in all your drafts on both sides of the pond, keep an eye out for Trevor Fisher Jnr to be included in DK, at the right price could be an amazing pick and very low ownership due to late inclusion. Any questions fire them across to me @AshleyMorrisson on Twitter.