The grandstand on the 18th green was rocking when Martin Kaymer (GER) carded his eighth birdie of the day to take a two-shot lead into the weekend at the BMW International Open. The second round at Golfclub München Eichenried once again produced some spectacular stories, including the BMW Hole-in-One Award – this year, a BMW M8 Competition Coupé – which was won in Munich for the first time since 2010.
Martin Kaymer, the only German ever to have won the BMW International Open (2008), has left German golf fans dreaming of a second title. The two-time major winner bounced back from a disappointing start, which saw him drop two shots in the first three holes, and lit up the back nine on Friday afternoon. By the time Kaymer left the 12th green, the atmosphere in the crowd in Eichenried was close to boiling over, as the 34-year-old holed his bunker shot from a good 15 metres for a birdie. With eight birdies on Friday, a round of 66 and a total score of eleven under par, Kaymer has put himself in pole position going into the weekend’s final two rounds.
“The opposition is obviously strong but, to be quite honest, I am my biggest threat,” said Kaymer. “Once you are leading, you should not look back, but should always look ahead and play your own tournament, in order to achieve the score you had in mind on Thursday.”
Kaymer’s closest rivals are South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout (-9, 2nd place), Kim Koivu from Finland, and Sebastian Soderberg (SWE, both -8, T3. ).
A further three former winners are also well positioned ahead of the weekend, in the form of defending champion Matt Wallace, Lee Westwood (both ENG, -7, T5), who was victorious 16 years ago, and Pablo Larrazábal (ESP, -6, T12), who held the trophy aloft in 2011 and 2015.
Max Schmitt, who was the best amateur here when he finished tied in 59th place two years ago, also put on a great show for the home fans. The 20-year-old only turned pro last year and has already played his way onto the European Tour. A bogey-free round today left Schmitt tied in fifth place on -7 (137 shots) at the halfway point, and the young German was understandably in a positive mood: “Playing with confidence is second nature to me. Generally speaking, if I want to do something, then I do it. This week has obviously been super so far. I already had fond memories of 2017, so I was really looking forward to the tournament. The BMW International Open is one of the best weeks of the year for me.”
The 2019 BMW International Open already has its first winner: Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND, -4, T25) hit a hole-in-one on the 17th (par 3, 179 metres) on Friday. The six-iron earned the 31-year-old a dream prize: The BMW M8 Competition Coupé*, worth 193,880 Euro, which will celebrate its world premiere in BMW Welt next week.
BMW Friend of the Brand Max Kieffer (GER) carded an eagle on the 18th after hitting the pin with his approach shot. The 28-year-old lies tied in 25th place after a round of 67 moved him to -4. He was of mixed opinion about his tournament so far: “I didn’t really play that well yesterday or today. However, I managed to score well today. There were a lot of up and downs, but I managed not to let the score affect me, which is very important for a golfer,” said Kieffer.
As well as Kaymer, Kieffer and Schmitt, a further two players will be flying the flag for the Germany at the weekend: Marcel Schneider and Dominic Foos (both -2, T48). The opening two rounds did not prove to be so successful for Sergio García (ESP, -1), Jhonattan Vegas (VEN, +1) and Marcel Siem (GER, +2), who all missed the cut.
Siem said: “I just let rip on the final few holes, particularly the 16th and 18th. They were two superb tee shots. On the first 34 holes, I was thinking too hard and did not play freely. I never really got going all week. That is obviously a bit frustrating, but I think I am on the right track.”