The BMW International Open golf tips return this week to Gut Larchenhof, the Cologne venue that since 2012 has shared hosting rights with Munich Eichenried. Henrik Stenson was the winner the last time the event was played here in 2016, while Danny Willett and Fabrizio Zanotti won the 2012 and 2014 editions respectively. The Jack Nicklaus-designed course, which also staged the German Masters (which became the Mercedes-Benz Championship) between 1998 and 2005 and from 2007 to 2009, isn’t particularly long and features wide fairways and greens which aren’t especially challenging, but the brutal rough can really punish wayward driving. Hit the ball straight and true though and there are some low scores available, as KJ Choi proved when he set a course record total of 26-under in 2003. Andres Romero won last year’s tournament at Eichenried, beating the trio of Thomas Detry, Sergio Garcia and Richard Bland by a single stroke.
BMW International Open Favourites
The BMW International Open Golf Tips line-up is headed by Tommy Fleetwood, who underlined his growing status with a superb performance at the US Open over the weekend. Fleetwood, who has entered the world’s top 10 for the first time, is a 14/1* chance with Bet365, Paddy Power and Betfred. Garcia was second last year and fifth the last time this event was played here two years ago and the Spaniard is at 22/1* with the same three firms. Andy Sullivan has been looking more like his old self in recent months and is a 33/1* chance with Betfred, Thorbjorn Olesen is at 35s with Betfred and Martin Kaymer leads the German challenge at 40/1* across the board.
BMW International Open Golf Tips
Mike Lorenzo-Vera has been around for a long time but it has taken him several years to become competitive on the European Tour. The 33-year-old appears to have that edge now though and his recent form has taken him into the world’s top 100 for the first time. His current purple patch began with a share of 10th place in Qatar and he was also runner-up in Sicily and eighth in the Belgian Knockout. He was ninth last time at Gut Larchenhof and can be backed at 45/1* with Bet365.
Mikko Korhonen won the inaugural Shot Clock Masters two weeks ago, a victory that wasn’t completely out of the blue for the 37-year-old Finn. Korhonen was third in Tshwane earlier in the year and finished in a share of 15th place at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth at the end of last month. He was 16th at this venue in 2016, and with his confidence up he looks a good each-way bet at 60/1* with Betfred.
Jorge Campillo has been one of the most consistent performers on the European Tour in the first half of the year, although he hasn’t been able to claim the win that his form perhaps deserves. Five top-five finishes have pushed him up more than 100 places in the world rankings since he opened the year with a share of 12th place in Ekurhuleni, and odds of 50/1* across the board hold plenty of appeal.
*Odds subject to change.