The BMW International Open was established in 1989 and has been a fixture on the European Tour schedule ever since. The tournament is currently played at the Golfclub München Eichenried, north of Munich in Bavaria, Germany. Before the Porsche European Open made the permanent switch to the country, this was the only German tournament on the tour.
Motor Company BMW, whose headquarters are in Munich, have been the title sponsors since the inaugural event. They also back the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship and the PGA Tour’s BMW Championship.
Multiple champions are far from rare here with Henrik Stenson in 2016, Pablo Larrazabal in 2015, Thomas Bjorn in 2002 and Paul Azinger in 1992 winning the BMW International Open for their second times. To date, no player has been a three-time winner.
|Golfclub München Eichenried||Munich, Germany||7,283 Yards||€1,500,000|
BMW International Open Recent Winners
|Year||Winner||Course||To Par||Winning Margin|
|2021||Viktor Hovland||-19||2 Strokes||Golfclub München Eichenried|
|2020||Cancelled||-||-||Golfclub München Eichenried|
|2019||Andrea Pavan||-15||Playoff||Golfclub München Eichenried|
|2018||Matt Wallace||-10||1 Stroke||Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof|
|2017||Andres Romero||-17||1 Stroke||Golfclub München Eichenried|
|2016||Henrik Stenson||-17||3 Strokes||Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof|
|2015||Pablo Larrazabal||-17||1 Stroke||Golfclub München Eichenried|
|2014||Fabrizio Zanotti||-19||Playoff||Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof|
Golfclub München Eichenried
Hosting duties for the BMW International Open had been shared by two courses in recent years. After Matt Wallace saw off a strong challenge at Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof in 2018, the tournament has switched from Cologne to Munich and Golfclub München Eichenried. This course is used to hosting the best European golfers and those who turn up here know they’ll find the course in tip top condition as ever but they will have to get used to the Bentgrass greens which were newly laid in 2019.
The real advantage at München Eichenried should lie with those who pull off an aggressive game plan as the par fives are relatively easy to reach in two shots and many of the par fours will play under par for the week.
Matt Wallace's winning score of -10 in 2018 was the worst ever in the BMW International Open. This is traditionally a tournament at which players need a huge number of birdies and even the odd eagle to win and we should see a return to low scoring champion.
About the BMW International Open
The BMW International Open has been around since 1989. For a time, it was the only German event played on the European Tour. The competition is also the longest running professional golf tournament in Germany.
The BMW International Open has been won by several big names over the years. The first event back in 1989 was won by Northern Ireland’s David Feherty, who beat American Fred Couples by five strokes. The likes of Paul Azinger, Colin Montgomerie, Ernie Els and Henrik Stenson have all won this event. Up to and including the 2019 tournament, this had only been won by a German player one: Martin Kaymer in 2008.
Four Tied with Two Wins Each
Four players have won the BMW International Open on multiple occasions. The first to do it was American Paul Azinger, who won two of the opening four tournaments on German grass. Since Azinger’s double, Thomas Bjorn of Denmark, Pablo Larrazabal from Spain and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson have each secured two titles apiece.
After Northern Irishman David Feherty kicked things off with a five-stroke victory in 1989, it was a lot tighter a year later; in 1990 Azinger sealed his first win with a playoff success over Feherty, denying the man from Bangor back-to-back victories. Azinger also needed a playoff to win the trophy for a second time, seeing off Glen Day, Anders Forsbrand, Mark James and home favourite Bernhard Langer in 1992.
Germany Finally Gets a Home Winner
Bernhard Langer is second on the all-time list of European Tour winners with 42 titles to his name, with only the great Seve Ballesteros ahead of him. But the German two-time US Masters winner had terrible luck in this tournament, finishing as the runner-up (or joint runner-up) in 1992, 1995, 2000, 2002 and 2007.
When Czech/German Alex Cejka finished three strokes behind Lee Westwood to take the silver medal in 2003, the German faithful must have thought they’ve never get a home winner to cheer. But they finally got what they wanted when Martin Kaymer from Dusseldorf lifted the trophy in 2008. In the process, Kaymer became the youngest ever BMW International Open winner. It went to the wire in Munich, but Kaymer kept his head to get the better of Dane Anders Hansen in a playoff. He has since gone on to win the US PGA Championship (in 2010) and the US Open (in 2014).
Monty Prevails in ’99
Colin Montgomerie has won a significant number of tournaments during his illustrious career, and is fourth on the all-time list of European Tour winners with 31 to his name… including the BMW International Open. Monty’s one and only victory in this event came in 1999, as the Scot hit 268 to beat Ireland’s Padraig Harrington by three strokes.
Monty had an outstanding year in 1999, winning five European Tour competitions along with the Cisco World Match Play Championship. Before his BMW International Open success in Germany in August 1999, Montgomerie had picked up the Benson & Hedges International Open, the Volvo PGA Championship, the Standard Life Loch Lomond and the Volvo Scandinavian Masters.
British Winners of the BMW International Open
Aside from Montgomerie, there have been nine other British winners of this tournament, up to and including the 2019 event. The most impressive from a score point of view was David Howell’s win in 2005 when the man from Swindon shot a fantastic score of 265 over the four rounds, an impressive 23 shots below par.
|Year||British Winners||Score (To Par)|
|2018||Matt Wallace (England)||278 (-10)|
|2012||Danny Willett (England)||277 (-11)|
|2010||David Horsey (England)||270 (-18)|
|2009||Nick Dougherty (England)||266 (-22)|
|2005||David Howell (England)||265 (-23)|
|2003||Lee Westwood (England)||269 (-19)|
|1999||Colin Montgomerie (Scotland)||268 (-20)|
|1998||Russell Claydon (England)||270 (-18)|
|1991||Sandy Lyle (Scotland)||268 (-20)|
|1989||David Feherty (Northern Ireland)||269 (-19)|
Daly’s Sensational 27 Under Par
The aforementioned score of 23 under par by David Howell was impressive, but it is not the best that has been achieved in this tournament (as of the 2019 edition). Even the 24 under par scores achieved by Thomas Bjorn in 2002 and Robert Karlsson in 1997 are not the best seen here.
That honour goes to the inimitable John Daly, whose astounding score of 261 in 2001 remains the tournament record (as of the 2019 event). Despite his stunning score, Daly finished just a single stroke ahead of Padraig Harrington in what was a truly memorable BMW International Open.
Daly was superb at Munchen Eichenried, securing the last of his three European Tour victories in style. Daly finished a phenomenal 27 under par to win his one and only BMW International Open. Incidentally, Harrington finished runner-up in this event on three occasions, to Daly in 2001, two years earlier to Colin Montgomerie, and to Henrik Stenson in 2006.
Stenson’s Second Victory Ten Years On
As mentioned, Swedish star Henrik Stenson is one of only four men to have won the BMW International Open on more than one occasion. However, after his first win in 2006, it took Stenson 10 years to reclaim his crown on German soil.
Henrik is a crowd favourite at the BMW International Open, and the superb Swede has certainly given the German spectators plenty to shout about over the years. Stenson’s first victory in 2006 was a playoff triumph over Padraig Harrington and Retief Goosen and though the final score of 15 under par was not one of the most outstanding we’ve seen, it was a very exciting tournament for the spectators.
Leading up to his second win in 2016, the man from Gothenburg finished runner-up in 2014 and 2015. Stenson was not to be denied in 2016, though, sealing his second BMW International Open title by finishing three shots ahead of Darren Fichardt and Thorbjorn Olesen posting a score of 271 in the process (17 under par).