First for Ernie Els: the South African won the 25th BMW International Open to claim his first title in Germany. At the end of the silver anniversary tournament, Els topped the leaderboard with a score of -18. Runner-up Thomas Bjorn (Denmark, -17) narrowly missed out on his third BMW title, having previously won in 2000 and 2002.
For a long time, Alexander Levy (France, -16) – nickname “El Toro” (The Bull) – had his sight set on a maiden win on the European Tour. However, four bogies on the back nine saw the Frenchman drop back into third place. BMW Brand Ambassador Martin Kaymer (Germany, -15) and Marcel Siem (Germany, -13) had also started the final day with hopes of delivering a second home win, and took to the course together in an all-German flight. Kaymer’s three-under 69 was enough to put the Major winner in a tie for fourth place. After a one-under round of 71, Siem had to settle for a share of tenth place.
The victory was Els’ 28th on the European Tour and his first of the season. Having finished sixth at the BMW PGA Championship and fourth at the US Open, the experienced South African emphatically underlined his impressive form. At 43, he became the oldest winner in the 25-year history of the BMW International Open. Els led from the first round, and defended his lead at the top of the leaderboard on all four days of the tournament.
Roland Krüger, Senior Vice President BMW Group Germany and Tournament President, added: "We have enjoyed another fantastic tournament, which was a fitting way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the BMW International Open. Ernie Els is a worthy champion. From the spectacular ‘TEE Time’ opening event in the English Garden and the Players’ Party in the centre of Munich to the dramatic climax on the immaculately prepared Championship Course: as the host of the only European Tour tournament in Germany, Munich has once again shown how passionate it is about golf. We would like to thank all those who have made this fantastic event possible, particularly Golfclub München Eichenried, the pros from all over the world, officials, media representatives, our partners, the 60,000 spectators, and the volunteers in the background."