On a day of shifting fortunes Argentina’s Andrés Romero stormed through the field to take victory in great style at the BMW International Open at Golfclub München Eichenried today.
With a round of 65 that included seven birdies in his last 11 holes, Romero finished with a 17-under-par total of 271 to beat three others by a single stroke and win €333,330. The fact that Sergio García, the Masters champion and tournament favourite, was among the three runners-up spoke volumes for Romero’s achievement. The others were Richard Bland, of England, and Belgium’s Thomas Detry.
The trophy was presented to the new champion by Oliver Zipse, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Production, who said: “Congratulations to Andrés Romero on his victory at the 29th BMW International Open. After four very competitive days of golf, he came through to beat a world-class field and claim an impressive win. This exciting Sunday was the fitting conclusion to a magnificent BMW International Open.
“The event has once again shown why it is one of the most popular tournaments on the European Tour. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has played a part in making it such a success: the staff at Golfclub München Eichenried, the many volunteers, our partners and sponsors, the members of the media and, above all, the 64,500 golf fans who have come along and enjoyed the event.”
Romero, 36, who arrived in Germany on the back of a missed cut at the US Open last week, came into the event ranked No. 837 in the world. He will now climb significantly up the rankings when they are announced tomorrow and can relax in the knowledge that he has won his playing rights on the European Tour until the end of 2019.
García was in a four-way tie for the lead with three holes to play, only to miss a short putt for par and effectively fall out of contention. He needed an eagle at the last to force a play-off but came up just short. He and Bland both had 69s, while Detry had a 66. Henrik Stenson, one of the favourites, finished in a tie for tenth on 11 under par.
The best placed German was Nicolai von Dellingshausen, who finished on seven under par after a bogey-free round of 67. “It is nice to play as part of a field like this,” the Pro Golf Tour player said. “I probably learned more here than I do any other week of the year. Nobody can take the experience and the memories away from me.”
There were great memories, too, for his countryman, Max Schmitt, who took the honours as best placed amateur. He finished on two under par after a final round of 75.
Once again the BMW International Open surpassed all expectations. The week started with García, Stenson and Martin Kaymer good-naturedly competing for the BMW Major Champion Challenge on a warm and sunny evening at BMW Welt – where the three major champions brought along their trophies in three iconic cars - and finished in thrilling fashion in front of 17,000 enthralled spectators.
In between there was the players’ party, where many of the stars got into the spirit of the evening by dressing in traditional Bavarian costume, and the chance for fans to get a close look at the major trophies, as well as Stenson’s Olympic silver medal, on display in the Championship Village.
It was also a week that witnessed holes in one at the 2nd for Paul Peterson and Romero, but that unfortunately secured neither of them the €140,000 BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Black Edition hole-in-one award because the feat was achieved on the wrong hole. The prize was on offer at the 17th.
Now the focus switches to Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof (Cologne) in a year’s time, when the tournament celebrates its 30th anniversary. It will be worth the wait.