BMW INTERNATIONAL OPEN.

Tournament history.

The BMW International Open was first held in 1989. The event enjoys an excellent reputation among the pros. They particularly value the extraordinary conditions achieved by the organisers, BMW. These include the immaculately prepared course, as well as the seamless organisation, popular evening events and exemplary player care, including the BMW shuttle service and many test vehicles for the protagonists.
All this makes the title at the event, which boasts a prize purse of two million Euros, one of the most coveted on the European Tour. In the 23-year history of the tournament, world starts like Severiano Ballesteros, José María Olazábal (both Spain), Nick Faldo (England), Greg Norman (Australia), Fred Couples (USA), Vijay Singh (Fiji), Ernie Els, Retief Goosen (both South Africa), Lee Westwood (England), Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland), Bernhard Langer and Martin Kaymer (both Germany) have regularly teed off at the BMW International Open.

2014 tournament

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In front of 14,000 enthralled spectators, Fabrizio Zanotti, of Paraguay, emerged triumphant at the fifth extra hole of a sudden-death play-off to win the BMW International Open at Gut Lärchenhof. Four players – Henrik Stenson (SWE), Rafael Cabrera-Bello (ESP), Gregory Havret (FRA) and Zanotti – made it through to the playoff after finishing on 19 under par in regulation play, but it was Zanotti who outlasted them all to claim his maiden victory on the European Tour and a first prize of €330,330.

Havret, at the second extra hole, and Cabrera-Bello, at the fourth, were the first to fall by the wayside in the playoff, with Zanotti and Stenson moving on to the par-four 17th for the second time. When Stenson attempted to drive the green and found water instead, his race had effectively been run, especially with his opponent  finding the putting surface off the tee. After a penalty drop and a couple of poor chip shots, Stenson, the world No2, bowed to the inevitable and conceded the match and the title. Twice the Swede had putts for victory, but it was not to be.

Pablo Larrazabal (ESP) held a three-stroke lead at the start of a day of exceptionally low scoring, but was unable to build momentum and fell out of the running in what turned into a sprint for the line. The Spaniard had a 72, for a 17-under-par total of 271. Zanotti set the clubhouse target with a round of 65, while Havret had a 66 to Stenson and Cabrera-Bello’s rounds of 67.

One player who could not believe his luck was Heath, the winner of the BMW i8: “I am blown away, virtually speechless,” the Englishman said. “The prize more than triples the highest cheque I’ve ever made. This is my fifteenth hole in one – the second in professional tournament play – but the others pale into insignificance by comparison. My last one was in Colombia three years ago and I didn’t even get a pat on the back.”

2013 tournament

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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."

2012 tournament

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The 14,500 fans who braved the wind and rain to watch the final round of the 2012 BMW International Open certainly got their money’s worth. As if the drama that played out over the 18 regulation holes were not enough, Danny Willett (ENG, -11) and Marcus Fraser (AUS, -11) then produced an encore worthy of any stage, with the Englishman eventually emerging triumphant on the fourth hole of a nail-biting play-off.

The decisive moments finally came on the fourth hole of the play-off: Fraser landed his approach shot about 10 metres from the hole before Willett decided to take on the pin from the centre of the fairway. Willett could not believe it when his ball flew over the green and came to a rest just in front of the BMW Fairway Club. Advantage Fraser – but only briefly. The Englishman produced another stroke of genius with a wonderful flop shot to within 50cm of the hole. Fraser responded in style, rolling his putt for the championship into the hole and then watching in disbelief as it lipped out. With the disappointment still in his mind, he then missed the return putt from one metre to hand the title to a delighted Willett, who was later presented with the coveted trophy and a winner’s cheque for 333,330 Euros.

Local favourite Marcel Siem (GER, -9) cut a tragic figure as he trudged from the 18th green. The German had played his way into a share of the lead by the sixth hole, before twice finding the water on his way to a triple-bogey on the seventh. He was back in the wet stuff on the eight and then carded a second bogey in succession on the ninth to all but end his bid to become the second German winner after Martin Kaymer in 2008. Siem finished in sixth place, one shot behind a group of three players tied in third on -10: Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño (ESP), Paul McGinley (IRL), Chris Wood (ENG).

Willett will be back in Germany to defend his title in 2013, when the BMW International Open returns to Golfclub München-Eichenried in Munich for the 25th anniversary of the tournament.

DRIVEN BY PASSION.