The DP World Tour resumes this week as the lead up to The Open begins with the BMW International Open where a pretty good field considering all that is going on in the world heads to Germany for an event which carries plenty of history.
Viktor Hovland won the tournament last year but he hasn’t entered the competition this time around so we are going to get a new champion from what is a field which has a few standout names within it.
2021 – Viktor Hovland
2019 – Andrea Pavan
2018 – Matt Wallace
2017 – Andres Romero
2016 – Henrik Stenson
2015 – Pablo Larrazabal
2014 – Fabrizio Zanotti
2013 – Ernie Els
2012 – Danny Willett
2011 – Pablo Larrazabal
We are back at the Golfclub Munchen Eichenried this week, the course which has hosted the event in the odd years previously. The course is a composite course which plays to a par of 72 and measures 7,284 yards so it isn’t terribly long. This will be the second time we’ve been here since the course underwent a lot of changes with all the greens being dug up and new undulations put into them so it might play a little trickier than it previously did.
The finishing three holes are the highlight of this course where water is in play but by and large the fairways are pretty big here so once again we’re on a second shot golf course where a hot putter is very much the requirement of the day. There isn’t a real statistical anomaly in the previous results here but if one does tend to get a player higher up the leaderboard it is greens in regulation so have good iron players in mind this week.
The leading ranked player in the field this week as far as the world rankings are concerned is the BMW PGA champion Billy Horschel but it might be that the majority of the attention this week centres on the likes of Louis Oosthuizen and Sergio Garcia who both quit the PGA Tour to play the new LIV golf circuit which means that if the DP World Tour side with their PGA counterparts, this could be the last time the duo tee it up on this tour too.
This tournament forms part of the Race to Dubai of course and we have three members of the top 10 in that ranking here this week in Thomas Pieters, Ryan Fox and Pablo Larrazabal. Another four players in the top 20 are also teeing it up in Munich in the form of Jordan Smith, Oliver Bekker, another for whom this could be it as far as the DP World Tour is concerned, Ashun Wu and the recent Dutch Open winner Victor Perez. Thorbjorn Olesen, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Bernd Wiesberger, Rasmus Hojgaard and Robert MacIntyre are some of the other men on show this week.
Billy Horschel is the highest ranked player in the field this week and he is the 12/1 favourite to win the tournament too. He has shown over the last 12 months or so that he is too good for this level, particularly when he took down the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last season. He recently won The Memorial beating a very strong field so he appears a very worthy favourite. The only negative is that this is his debut in the tournament and on the course so he is disadvantaged by that but it would be no surprise if Horschel is lifting the title on Sunday evening.
The two PGA Tour defectors Louis Oosthuizen and Sergio Garcia are the 20/1 second favourites this week. There are way too many negatives about them. Firstly neither of them are in particularly good form and secondly they have just been handed a boat load of cash so whether their competitive juices are still intact remains to be seen. They are also going to get a lot of media negativity you would imagine. The positive is they are too good for the level but I’m not sure that outweighs the negatives on this occasion.
We have a trio of players at 22/1 and they are Ryan Fox, Jordan Smith and Thomas Pieters. They are known more as bigger hitters than straight hitters and that might be a concern but two of the three have won this season and the other one has a runner up finish to his name so we know they can go well at this level. Smith would probably be my pick of the three for no other reason than he hasn’t been going to and from the US Open over the last week but I prefer others anyway.
Bernd Wiesberger is another of those who have been secured by the LIV golf crew so he too could be playing his final DP World Tour event. He’s another who has taken the cash and another who the fear that the competitive edge will disappear from as a result. His form hasn’t been overly brilliant anyway and while at his best he would be too good for the level, he is nowhere near that best so quotes of 25/1 look a little tight.
Those who have followed our golf bets for a while will know I’m a big Victor Perez fan and to say I’m annoyed I wasn’t on when he won the Dutch Open would be an understatement but I’m not going to make that mistake again. When he is at his best Perez is one of the best iron players on the DP World Tour but he’s a solid enough driver and that is largely the test this week. He might not be the best putter in the world but he is good enough and when you win a tournament it brings a lot of confidence to the putter in particular. A confident Perez is one of Europe’s best and with doubts over a few big names this week and their competitive edge I’ll take the Frenchman to pick up a second win in quick succession.
Richard Mansell has been on and off my radar for a while and he is very much back on it here where his skillset should be perfect for the test at hand. I’m not sure it is completely ideal that he went to the US Open last week but I’m hoping the inspiration of playing in his first major will carry him to the form he showed before the week at Brookline. He qualified for that tournament courtesy of his form on the DP World Tour where he had a four week stretch of 8-23-9-3 and in those weeks his GIR numbers were 4-21-13-8 so he should be comfortable on this course. He was T37 here last year but that was after a 74 to open. If he starts better this week then this iron animal should be in contention once again.
Kristoffer Broberg got plenty of coverage at the Scandinavian Mixed tournament where he was in a group with host Annika Sorenstam and the eventual champion Linn Grant for the opening two days. He finished T25 at that event and that was with a final round of 74. He is another player who hits a lot of greens in regulation and if he can get the putter to cooperate he could go very well here. He has put together a couple of solid efforts here and with two decent showings in his last three tournaments he might be rounding into form to trump that. He feels a big price this week.
Justin Walters is my other bet this week. He is also in good form having gone on a four week stretch prior to the US Open of 3-MC-16-20 with the last three of those being in consecutive weeks so maybe having some downtime last week will be no bad thing. Walters is gaining strokes on approach like they are going out of fashion and last time out in Sweden he picked up almost four shots to the field on the greens. In fact, in four of his last seven starts he has gained shots with the short stick so I would expect him to be contending if he can keep that form up. He’s a big enough price to pay to see if that is this week.
Back V.Perez to win BMW International Open (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 31.00 with Betfred (1/5 1-7)
Back K.Broberg to win BMW International Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 91.00 with Betfred (1/5 1-7)
Back R.Mansell to win BMW International Open (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 41.00 with Boylesports (1/5 1-8)
Back him here:
Back J.Walters to win BMW International Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 101.00 with William Hill (1/5 1-6)
Back him here: