The BMW International Open 2017 Preview

The BMW International Open 2017 Preview

Our golf scribe previews this week's European Tour event, the BMW International Open.

I have been one of those that has jumped on the anti-European Tour bandwagon of late in regards to the porosity of their fields. But considering the fact that the world’s attention has just turned away from Erin Hills and the US Open, the organisers have managed to attract the best field in the tournament’s history this week. Current Masters champion Sergio Garcia will join current Open Champion Henrik Stenson in an illustrious field. Fellow major alumni’s Martin Kaymer and Ernie Els lend further gravitas to proceedings, while the likes of Cabrera-Bello, Wiesberger and Fleetwood give this event some real credibility.

The BMW is a rather intriguing proposition, with the course alternating venues ever since 2012, between the Golf Club Munchen Eichenried and the Golf Club Gut Larchenhof. The course in Munich is a par 72 course described as a Parkland design. The fairways are wide, but there are enough challenges present for players to be occupied. It seems almost impossible to pick an identikit winner, with such a wide variety of styles being successful here of late. Generally speaking, good GIR stats and a steady putter should make for good bedfellows going into this tournament.

Sergio flirted cheekily with contention at Erin Hills, while Stenson got cut with a plethora of giants last week. Tommy Fleetwood battled to get things going on Sunday with a maiden Major title in the offing. Bernd Wiesberger did well to finish while Ernie at least managed to play all four rounds. This should be a fascinating post-Major week as players battle it out for all-important Race to Dubai points.

The BMW International Open | Thursday 22 June - Friday 25 June | The Golf Club Munchen Eichenried, Munich

Past Winners

2016: Henrik Stenson (-17) | 2015: Pablo Larrazabel (-17) | 2014: Fabrizio Zanotti (-19)*playoff | 2013: Ernie Els (-18) | 2012: Danny Willett (-11)*playoff

To Win Outright

Sergio Garcia 15/2 | Henrik Stenson 9/21| Bernd Wiesberger 14/1 | Tommy Fleetwood 18/1 | Martin Kaymer 22/1

Value Bets

Brandon Stone - To Win 66/1 & To Place 14/1
Stone just came off his first cut in a major after finishing in a respectable T35TH at Erin Hills. He managed to overcome some of his length issues and he putted brilliantly. As a matter of fact, he ended up with the best putting statistics all week long. That bodes well on a course where making birdies will be key. He has won two European titles, admittedly both in South Africa. However, he did finish in a tie for fifth at last year’s Open de France, as well as a 10th at the KLM Open. He has also finished 10th before on this track and looks a steal at this price.

Graeme Storm - To Win 90/1 & To Place 19/1
I have backed a fairly ragtag bunch in the main this week, but it just seems as if there is a fair deal of potential value scattered about. Storm's recent form seems to make this price look absurd. He has been buoyed by the fact that he has kept his European Tour Card after Patrick Reed’s points were deducted. He managed to beat Rory in a playoff to win another BMW event: The South African Open. He has made seven consecutive cuts at this venue, with a best finish of 4th in 2009. He seems to be a rejuvenated player and is coming into his favourite time of the year, with links courses aplenty.

S.S.P Chawrasia - To Win 150/1 & To Place 33/1
This is my speculative punt of the weekend and I believe really represents a great price. This is Chawrasia’s first crack at the event since 2010, but he does own a top 25 finish here before. I just think that there is something rather insulting about that 150/1 price, especially considering his phenomenal win against the odds in India, where he managed to subdue a course that many thought too large for him. He jets in from Asia following a T15 finish in the Queen’s Cup in Thailand, where a disappointing weekend of 72-73 really thwarted his chances of contending. His attempts to dislodge Davis Lipsky at the top of the Asian Order of Merit will be put on hold this week as he attempts to prove the doubters wrong.

The Man to Beat

Tommy Fleetwood - To Win 18/1 & To Place 39/10
The Southport-born star could well be forgiven for feeling slightly jaded in the wake of that herculean effort in Wisconsin. But I believe that the 26-year-old is on the verge of great things. He won the HSBC in Abu Dhabi before finishing second behind Dustin Johnson in the WGC event in Mexico. He also finished second at Shenzhen before finishing fourth at the US Open. He has had missed cuts on both sides of the pond - indicating that there is definitely a mercurial quality to the young Englishman yet. But the sheer number of quality fields that he has dominated this season indicates that he looks well priced at 18/1.

Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets

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