Andrea Pavan (-15, 273 shots) is the winner of the 31st BMW International Open. The Italian showed the strongest nerves on an extremely hard-fought final day at GC München Eichenried and eventually clinched the title at Germany’s most iconic golf tournament in the eighth play-off in the tournament’s history. He birdied the second play-off hole to defeat England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick, who had to settle for second place. Martin Kaymer, who led at the halfway point of the tournament, finished tied in 16th place and missed out on his second victory at the BMW International Open, having previously won his home event in 2008.
This was only Pavan’s second victory on the European Tour, and he was rewarded for his effort with a cheque for 333,330 Euro. The number 133 in the world had previously triumphed at the Czech Masters in 2018. The 30-year-old is the first Italian winner of the BMW International Open. His final round of six under par on Sunday was the second best of the day, with only Thorbjørn Olesen and Bernd Wiesberger (both -7) carding better. After he and Fitzpatrick shared the first play-off hole with pars, Pavan made the breakthrough at the second attempt, courtesy of an outstanding approach shot and a regulation putt for birdie.
“It is unbelievable. This win feels a bit surreal,” said a beaming Pavan. “I played together with Filippo Bergamaschi today – a friend from Italy. That definitely helped. It is so tough to win a tournament. I feel blessed to be stood here with the trophy. My caddy, Cristian Alejandro Molina, is a great guy. This victory belongs to him at least as much as it does to me.”
The BMW International Open was still wide open until well into the final round. A glance at the leaderboard shows just how hard-fought the Sunday was: No fewer than seven players – defending champion Matt Wallace, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Edoardo Molinari, Jordan Smith, Matthias Schwab, Alvaro Quiros and Christiaan Bezuidenhout – finished tied for third place on 13 under par.
Kaymer, the first and still the only German to win the BMW International Open, had been sitting pretty at the top of the leaderboard on Friday, following rounds of 67 and 66. However, his putter went cold at the weekend, and the two-time major winner could do no better than one over par on the final two days. Despite this, the 34-year-old was still in a positive frame of mind: “The killer for me this weekend were holes six and eleven. I was four over par for those two holes. Given the drives I hit, I could easily have been four under par – and have won the tournament. However, I will focus on the positives: I had a really superb week in many regards, and played 68 holes very well.”
As well as Kaymer, Germans Max Kieffer (-5, T37), Dominic Foos, Max Schmitt (both -1, T53) and Marcel Schneider (even par, T60) also made the cut.
In the second round, India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar hit a hole-in-one on the 17th (par 3, 179 metres) to win a BMW M8 Competition Coupé (combined fuel consumption: 10.7 – 10.8 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 243 – 246 g/km) worth 193,880 Euro.