25th BMW International Open: Anniversary celebrations at tournament’s spiritual home. The final countdown is on to the 25th birthday of the only European Tour event in Germany – Rory McIlroy and other top stars like send their congratulations
Munich. The stage is set: the stars of the European Tour are headed for Munich for the 25th time, and for a very special tournament: the BMW International Open. From 20th to 23rd June, the pros will do battle for a share of the two million Euros prize purse and the coveted title at Golfclub München Eichenried. The anniversary celebrations will kick off on Tuesday with the “Opening Show Event” in the English Garden. The action then shifts to Eichenried for the Pro-Am tournament on Wednesday. Admission is free up to and including Friday.
“25 years of the BMW International Open – that is a special anniversary. Not only for us, but also for the European Tour, the pros, Golfclub München Eichenried golf in general in Germany,” said Eckhard Wannieck, Head of BMW International Sponsoring, Cooperations and Product Placement. “No other European Tour event has been held under the same name for such a long time. The 1989 BMW International Open signalled the start of BMW’s successful commitment to professional golf. Nowadays, the company is one of the world’s most important promoters of this fascinating sport. To a certain degree, the 25th anniversary of the BMW International Open sees us return to our roots. For one week, the eyes of the golfing world will be on Munich, as the sport’s top stars thrill the crowds. The city is looking forward to this tournament, and we feel just as happy at Golfclub München Eichenried today as we did when the tournament made its debut 25 years ago. We would like to thank the city of Munich, the Free State of Bavaria, all those responsible at GC München Eichenried, the players, the countless volunteers and, of course, the fans. It is their enthusiasm for golf that has made this tournament what it is today.”
Visitors can look forward to another attractive field this year, and a modified Championship Course, which will be at its very best for the anniversary. Tournament Director Marco Kaussler says: “We are all really looking forward to the anniversary of the BMW International Open. Everything is in place for it to be a fantastic tournament week. The Championship Course has been made even more demanding, particularly on holes 2, 6, 16 and 18. The public will also be treated to an extremely interesting line-up. Big names like Ernie Els, Sergio García, Dustin Johnson and Martin Kaymer will be on display. They will be joined by some extremely popular and familiar faces, such as Miguel Ángel Jiménez, José Maria Olazábal and Colin Montgomerie, as well as rising stars like Matteo Manassero, Thorbjörn Olesen and Max Kieffer. Last but not least is the German contingent, which features Marcel Siem, Alex Cejka and a very interesting youngster by the name of Dominic Foos who, at just 15 boasts the best handicap (6.4) ever achieved by a German at that age. All in all, plenty of good reasons to get on down to Golfclub München Eichenried for the 25th staging of the tournament.”
The impressive anniversary of BMW as a global golf partner is by no means an everyday event, even in hectic professional golf circles. The list of those sending their congratulations is a long one. Rory McIlroy, world number two and winner of the 2012 BMW Championship (PGA TOUR): “Up until recently I did not know that BMW had been supporting golf tournaments for as long as I have been alive. That is a bit scary really, but is says a lot about the strength of the BMW brand. It has a magnificent global presence in golf, and we players are very grateful for the brilliant support. I am planning to reduce the number of tournaments I play in this season to 22, but three of these will be BMW sponsored events. I am looking forward to every one of these tournaments and wish BMW all the best for another successful season of golf.”
Reigning Open Champion Ernie Els, who fans in Germany will be able to see at the 25th BMW International Open, said: “Congratulations to BMW on organising the BMW International Open for 25 years. The company has always been a great supporter of golf, and BMW has always organised fantastic tournaments. I have definitely played more BMW events than I can remember these days. And I have a lot of fond memories – not just of Germany, but of tournaments all over the world. Great job, guys – and all the best for the next wonderful 25 years!”
Service for visitors to the tournament.
The unseasonal heavy rain experienced over the past few weeks mean it is not possible to use all the car parks at the tournament site as planned. Visitors to the BMW International Open are requested to check out the current parking system on site before travelling, and to take note of the recommendations for how best to reach the course on the BMW Golfsport website: www.bmw-golfsport.com
Visitors are always kept up-to-date via the free BMW International Open App. Anyone with an iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone can download the app free of charge, either at www.bmw-golfsport.comor via the iTunes Store and Google Play. Push notifications of key events sent to mobile phones ensure golf fans are always up to speed. Live scoring, news (also with a push notification service), player tracker and detailed background information make the app an indispensable tournament companion.
Tournament stories: Fascinating anecdotes from 25 years of the BMW International Open.
1989 – Bavarian beer the key to success.
The first winner of the BMW International Open is David Feherty. The Northern Irishman starts with a stunning 62 and strides to victory, repeating his magnificent opening round the following year. By the time the fledgling tournament is 143 holes old, it has known only one leader: David Feherty. However, Paul Azinger (USA) pulls level on the final hole in 1990 – and goes on to win the ensuing play-off. Looking back on 1989 and 1990, Feherty said: “Maybe the course just suited me, or it was all the Bavarian beer that Torrance (former Tour player and Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance) and I drank. That man is normally a bad influence, but not this time.”
1992 – The mysterious bushes.
You see the most bizarre things at golf tournaments. However, the greenkeepers are completely bewildered when they come to inspect the 12th and 16th greens on one morning of the 1992 tournament. During the night, somebody has planted a bush in the middle of the two greens. The purpose of this action remains a mystery, and the tournament directors are still waiting for someone to claim responsibility.
1998 – Thankfully not a direct hit.
A great commotion was to be heard over the tournament radio during the 1998 BMW International Open. “Paul Broadhurst hit a lady!” was the message that caused such alarm amongst the first aid department – alarm that ultimately turned into laughter. Thankfully Paul Broadhurst had not actually hit a lady, but had failed to get his tee shot beyond the ladies’ tee, no more than 30 metres in front of him. As such, Broadhurst had “hit a lady”, as it is known in golfing circles.
2004 – “The Mechanic” goes shopping.
2004 is the year of “The Mechanic”, as Spain’s Miguel Ángel Jiménez is known due to his love of cars. Having won the BMW Asian Open in April of that year, he not only won a BMW motorcycle as first prize in the Shoot-Out at the BMW International Open, but also went on to claim the title. And the cigar-lover used the handsome winner’s cheque to purchase a brand-new BMW M5 straight after the tournament.
2011 – Night-time excursion.
Two years ago, a couple of fun-loving guys decided it would be fun to hijack one of the golf buggies belonging to the organisational team and use it to travel back to Munich. The crime is prevented thanks to an exhausting pursuit. And when it turned out that they did not even have admission tickets, but had simply climbed over the fencing onto the tournament site, they were made to purchase two tickets shortly after being apprehended at 19:00. No further action was taken.
Note to editors:
The first highlight of the BMW International Open week is the “TEE Time” in the English Garden. The players present will be Ernie Els, Sergio García, Dustin Johnson, Maximilian Kieffer, Matteo Manassero, Miguel Ángel Jiménez and Marcel Siem. Meeting point for media representatives, photographers and TV crews is the Monopteros at 16:30 on Tuesday 18th June. The “Opening Show Event” will begin there at 17:00. A traditional Bavarian ‘Brotzeit’ (snack) at the Chinese Tower will provide an attractive photo opportunity with the golf stars.
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