PickGuru Golf: BMW International Open

PickGuru Golf: BMW International Open

This article is part of our PickGuru Golf series.

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BMW International Open

 The DP World Tour heads to Germany for the second time this season for the BMW International Open at the Golfclub Munchen Eichenried. This marks the 32nd iteration of the event since its inception in 1989. The par-72 track tips at 7,284 yards and places a premium on quality from tee to green. Viktor Hovland headlines the list of defending champions, one that also includes Henrik Stenson, Ernie Els and Martin Kaymer. Hovland and Els are not in this week's field, but the other two are.

Profiling the Winner

The weather conditions in Munich call for a mixture of sun and rain, which should keep the course relatively soft and scoreable. Golfclub Munchen Eichenried is one of the shorter tracks on the DP World Tour schedule, and all four par-5s check in less than 570 yards. Players will look to attack these reachable holes in two, and softer greens may allow better control on approach. Three of the course's four par-3s typically play over 200 yards, so the eventual winner will largely need to look elsewhere for birdie opportunities.

Hovland claimed the title at Munchen Eichenried last year at an impressive 19-under par, and a similar number can be expected this week, as conditions appear generally favorable for scoring. The course has sustained few, if any, changes since last year's event, and the field represents one of the strongest of the season thus far. Notably, PGA Tour regulars Billy Horschel and Louis Oosthuizen will take a brief hiatus from their U.S. schedules to compete against the best in Europe.

Category Picks

Premium Picks

Players Included: Billy Horschel, Louis Oosthuizen, Thomas Pieters, Bernd Wiesberger

Guru Verdict: It is tough to go against the highest ranked player in the field, particularly with the golfer ranked No. 14 in the world entering this tournament in relatively strong form. Despite missing the cut at the U.S. Open, Horschel is only a couple weeks removed from a dominant four-stroke victory at the Memorial. The former FedEx Cup champion has been fond of playing in Europe in the past, and although this will be his debut in this event, he has already claimed two career titles in BMW-sponsored events. Horschel is known as one of the best ball strikers in the world, and if his short game follows him to Europe, he could very well claim his fourth worldwide victory in 15 months.

Front-Runners

Players Included: Ryan Fox, Jordan Smith, Sergio Garcia, Rasmus Hojgaard, Robert MacIntyre, Victor Perez

Guru Verdict: Perez has been one of the steadiest players on the DP World Tour this season and will be looking to claim his second victory in two months. He also has a bit of added motivation, as he needs to continue finishing well to secure a place in the Open Championship next month. The Frenchman got off to a strong early start at last week's U.S. Open, even briefly sitting atop the leaderboard Thursday. However, he ultimately missed the cut by four strokes. Nonetheless, the 29-year-old followed up his win with a T3 in his next start, and he will look to keep the momentum going. Coming off a missed cut at the U.S. Open and having recently joined LIV Golf, it is difficult to gauge Garcia's level of focus at the moment.

Good Chances

Players Included: Oliver Bekker, Thomas Detry, Richard Mansell, Laurie Canter, Romain Langasque, Pablo Larrazabal

Guru Verdict: Larrazabal has an excellent track record at the BMW International Open, having won the event twice previously. He last claimed victory in 2015 by one stroke over Henrik Stenson at 17-under-par. The Spaniard has played well this season, finishing 13-1-5 in his last three DP World Tour starts. He should have no issues getting comfortable at a course he knows and plays well at. Mansell has played fine in Europe this year, but he struggled considerably at the U.S. Open, missing the cut and carding a two-day total of 11-over-par.

Challengers

Players Included: Martin Kaymer, Adrian Otaegui, Fabrizio Zanotti, Haotong Li, Dean Burmester, Edoardo Molinari

Guru Verdict: Kaymer hasn't competed much recently, but he's another player who has had consistent success at this venue. He won the event in 2008 and finished runner-up to Hovland last year. He also finished second in 2018 behind eventual winner Matt Wallace. Picking Kaymer is more a product of past performance than current form, as he has missed the cut in three of the four tournaments he has played in since the calendar flipped to 2022. His head could be somewhere else as well, as he too recently committed to LIV Golf. If looking elsewhere, Otaegui and Li are a couple others from this group who have played well in Europe lately.

Contenders 

Players Included: Mikko Korhonen, Jorge Campillo, Takumi Kanaya, Wil Besseling, George Coetzee, Marcus Armitage

Guru Verdict: Besseling is coming off a reasonably strong showing at the U.S. Open, where he made the cut and ultimately finished T56. He ranked third in the field in total driving and also finished top-20 in greens in regulation, which may translate to a strong week in Germany. The Dutchman qualified for the U.S. Open by finishing second at the European Open earlier this month and will look to continue a productive month of June. Korhonen and Armitage have been rounding into form and possess games that set up nicely for the layout.

Outsiders

Players Included: Matti Schmid, Julien Brun, Thorbjorn Olesen, Kalle Samooja, Matthew Jordan, Masahiro Kawamura

Guru Verdict: Olesen also played in the U.S. Open last week but missed the cut after carding rounds of 75 and 76. That said, the 32-year-old Dane has been one of the steadiest players on the DP World Tour lately and recently claimed his sixth career victory at the Betfred British Masters. At 118th on Tour in driving distance, Olesen won't overpower the course off the tee, but he won't need to this week. Look for Olesen to climb the leaderboard with his ball striking and short game. Samooja is another player in this group who has made some recent noise, winning the European Open a few weeks ago and coming within a stroke of the cut line at the U.S. Open.   

Wild Cards 

Players Included: Rafa Cabrera Bello, Matthieu Pavon, Richie Ramsay, Ross Fisher, Jazz Janewattananond, Antoine Rozner

Guru Verdict: Ranked 13th in scoring average on the DP World Tour this year, Pavon looks like a standout in this group. The Frenchman tends to feast on the longer holes, ranking 15th on Tour in par-5 scoring average and first in eagles per round. If he can card a few of those on Munchen Eichenried's reachable par-5s, he could be well on his way to contending for his first career DP World Tour victory. Be wary of Pavon's fellow Frenchman, Rozner. He has played a very light European schedule this year, and rust may be a factor.

Joe's Selections

Premium Picks: Billy Horschel
Front Runners: Victor Perez
Good Chances: Pablo Larrazabal
Challengers: Martin Kaymer
Contenders: Wil Besseling
Outsiders: Thorbjorn Olesen
Wild Cards: Matthieu Pavon

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joseph Szmadzinski
Joseph Szmadzinski is a golf contributor. He played golf at Bucknell University (2013). When not at the office, he enjoys spending time on the golf course, playing tennis, and watching whatever games are on.
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