The BMW International Open bounces back across to Gut Larchenhof GC from Golf Club Munchen Eichenried for the 2014 edition. I'm not sure if the current vision is to alternate between the two tracks annually, but as mentioned in my 2012 preview, there's plenty of course form to go on from the German Masters / Mercedes Benz Championships throughout the noughties.
Local hero Martin Kaymer is priced at 8.00. The German hero - who grew up just 30 km from the course - returns to home soil to show off his latest trophy, and second major championship title. A win for the German in front of his fans would see him jump to the top of the Race To Dubai standings, and he'll take all the beating.
Henrik Stenson at 9.00 and Sergio Garcia 13.00 are the other marquee names heading the betting, while Kaymer's compatriot Marcel Siem 31.00 is hitting top form at the right time.
Danny Willett 41.00 took home the BMW International Open title here at Gut Larchenhof in 2012 and he returns in high spirits after chasing down Mikko Ilonen in Ireland last week. The Englishman describes the track as tougher and more suited to his game than Munich Eichenried GC and he's looking forward to challenging again.
The course - Gut Larchenhof GC
Playing 7,228 yards to a par of 72, Gut Larchenhof is a Jack Nicklaus designed, predominantly exposed course. "A good shot should not be punished" is a famous quote of the Golden Bear's and primary rough will be maintained at 90mm; it will prove penal if narrow landing areas on the fairways are missed and stray beyond that and you're in fescue or flirting with the bush. Water comes into play on half the holes and the wind factor is a possibility. Conditions are set to be firm.
Three from the pack
Anders Hansen, at 71.00 or 15.00 for the place, has been in flying form since his long-awaited recovery from injury, and the Dane is ready to boil. An extremely tough to take 2nd place was the result for Anders at Laguna National recently after a hole out from the fairway by Felipe Aguilar, but Hansen hasn't gone into hibernation. The veteran has gone on to record a handful of top thirties and was right in contention at the Irish Open last week. Add this to a couple of top fives at Gut Larchenhof in the aforementioned tournaments and a game based on solid tee to green play and good putting, and he should be there of there abouts.
Robert Karlsson (pictured above) is priced at 67.00 or 14.00 the place, and has enjoyed plenty of success in Germany. The big Swede took down the BMW International Open all the way back in 1997 on the Munich Eichenried course and went on to record a win at the Deutsche Bank Players Championship. Karlsson also won on this very course in 2008 when it was the venue for the Mercedes-Benz Championship. "A lot of good golf this week ... things moving forward" is a positive snippet from Robert's Twitter - referring to last week's Irish Open - and his form of late would back that up.
Simon Dyson 81.00 or 17.00 is another man who has enjoyed success on this track and if the wind does get up it will be to the Yorkshireman's advantage. Dyson recorded a third place here in his last outing at the Mercedes Benz and carded an 11th place finish in this event back in 2012. Three rounds in the sixties and a recent top five at Wentworth has him very much on the radar and vibes from the Dyson camp are positive.
Soren Hansen (126.00 or 23.00) was talking before the Irish Open and mentioned his injury problems are now behind him. He feels good about his game and I'm sure he'll feel even better about the Gut Larchenhof track, having won here in the 2007 Mercedes-Benz Championship and followed that with an 8th and a 3rd in 08 and 09 respectively. His affinity with the track may be exactly what the Dane needs to spark his current form.
Bet on the BMW International Open now.