This week, we head to Cologne, Germany for the BMW International Open, and one man is sure to get a hero’s welcome, Martin Kaymer. Two weeks ago he won his 2nd major title, the U.S Open at Pinehurst, and after a week off, he’ll be keen to continue his fine run of form, on home soil.
The last time this event was played here at, Golf Club Gut Larchenhof, Danny Willett was triumphant, getting the better of Marcus Fraser in a play-off. Both Willett and Fraser shot one round over par, Fraser shooting 74 in round 2, and Willett making his job harder shooting 73 on the final day.
This par 72 course, which measures 7,228 yards is known for rewarding good play, and their motto is “a good shot should not be punished” so this is a fair test for the players this week, and they should look to take advantage of it. As far as hazards go, there is water on 50 percent of the holes, and some of the fairways are tight in the ideal landing areas.
As a whole, this is a rewarding golf course and for that reason no one stat particularly sticks out, although I would favour accuracy over distance here. Of those that finished in the top-1o here in 2012, only Willett (8th) and Ross Fisher (3rd) finished in the top-10 for Driving Distance.
A good ball striking week should see you score well here, as there is a low score to be had here, but players will be keen to do it at during the early holes of each 9. The finish on both the front and back 9 is purposely set up more difficult to cause an exciting finish, so players will want to make birdies before reaching those holes.
Thanks to Kaymer and Henrik Stenson making the trip to Germany for this week’s event, there is plenty of value on offer and I hope to expose that.
Here are my selections for the 2014 BMW International Open.
Danny Willett 45/1 (StanJames) 1pt e/w: There are two very good reasons to back Danny Willett this week. Firstly, he won here in 2012, the last time this event was hosted at this course and he also played very well last week, en-route to a 3rd place finish.
Willett is a player that has struggled for much of his career with injuries, and that’s always a worry. but whilst he’s in form and returning to a course, where he will have such fond memories I am happy to have him onside, especially at 45/1 this week.
Had he of not played so well last week, I would be less inclined to back him, as it’s very easy to back someone who has won at the course previously and said player fails to produce a good week again. I don’t think this will be the case with Willett this week, confidence should be sky high here in Germany, and I am positive his good season continues here.
He has not missed a cut this year, unless you count his two retirements, at the Nordea Masters and the Tshwane Open and with his 3rd place finish last week, he now has two top-5’s, a further top-10 and four more top-20’s so he’s been very solid when fit.
If he is 100% healthy this week, which as far as I can tell, he is, he is a cracking bet at 45/1 and I fully expect him to feature over the weekend.
Thongchai Jaidee 66/1 (Bet35 & William Hill) 1pt e/w: Jaidee is often underrated, and it’s normally just a case of getting him on the right week, as he often pops up with a good performance.
Two starts ago, not only did he perform well, but he won the Nordea Masters, beating two very good, in-form players, in the shape of Stephen Gallacher and Victor Dubuisson in a 3-way play-off.
That win in Sweden was his 6th on the European Tour, and it’s also put him in a good spot on the Race to Dubai rankings, where he currently sits 13th. He often finishes well in the Race to Dubai standings, due to his consistency throughout the season, and he’ll be keen to add another win this season. This would mark his 2nd two win season, on the European Tour as he achieved this feat in 2009 and I think he could again.
He had a week off after his win in Sweden, and then missed the cut at the U.S Open, so with two weeks off and a missed cut since his win, he should be well rested for this week’s event, and I am sure he can go well.
In 2012, when this course hosted the event last, Jaidee finished a very respectable T8th, ranking 5th in Greens in Regualtion and 9th in Putts per GIR, both very promising statistics.
He was under par in all three rounds, but only shot in the 60’s (68) once, in round 3, so he will need to go lower this time around. Having said that, he was only three shots shy of Fraser and Willett when all was said and done, so I am sure he can go well again, and even improve.
Simply put, I think 66/1 is very generous for a player who won just two starts ago, and has a top-10 at this course in recent memory to boot.
Tommy Fleetwood 175/1 (StanJames) 0.5pt e/w: It isn’t a surprise that Fleetwood’s price has inflated this week, due to missing his last four cuts, but I am confident he will turn it around again, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he did it here.
He still ranks fairly highly in Driving Accuracy and Greens in Regulation, and considering his recent form, that’s a promising sign. As it is often the case, Fleetwood has been struggling with his putter, and if he can get that working on these greens he may well find the form he showed, before those missed cuts.
In the two starts before his unfortunate run of missed cuts, he finished 2nd in the Volvo China Open, and 8th in The Championship, shooting -15 both weeks.
This further confirms he has the game to go low, which he will require here, and hopefully this course will suit him. The course if rewarding and hopefully Fleetwood can take advantage, reversing his fortunes in the process.
He looks overpriced this week, at 175/1 considering he’s won in the last year and hopefully he can find consistency to match his obvious talent soon.
Kristoffer Broberg 200/1 (StanJames) 0.25pts e/w: Broberg is a player I have followed for quite some time, and not to long ago picked him at a similar price. This time though, he is coming off a season best, tied 3rd finish, a position he shared with Danny Willett, and his game looks in good shape.
His finish last week was his best since his 6th at the NH Collection Open in April, but he also played well at The Championship, so he’s starting to finish weeks positively, more regularly now and hopefully he can build on last week’s 3rd and go one better here.
He did not play here in 2012, so there’s no previous form to go by, but at 200/1 I think he’s worth backing this week. It’s not often you can back a player who finished 3rd a week previously at such odds, and hopefully he remains confident, and plays well as a result.
At 200/1 he’s the long-shot of the week for me, and hopefully he replicates last week’s play.
Quicken Loans National
I have just one selection in this event, previously known as the AT&T National. With the return of Tiger Woods the main story of the week, I am keen to side with a player who is clearly rounding into some top form again, and that is Brandt Snedeker. At 25/1 Snedeker represents decent value. considering he’s finished 9th and 11th in his last two starts, the 9th coming at the U.S Open.
Course form is clearly important here, and Snedeker has it in abundance. In his last five starts here, he has finished in the top-11 four times, including 2 8ths and a 5th placed finish. For this reason I alone I am confident enough he will play well this week, and I am going 1.5pts e/w.
Total points staked this week: 8.5 pts
Profit/Loss for 2014: +28.91
Things are not going well at the moment, but I really think a winner is on the horizon, and hopefully it comes sooner rather than later. Snedeker was not far off getting an each way payout at the U.S Open, but he struggled with a back problem in the final round, and in the end fell just shy. He continued that form a week later, and hopefully this time around he gets the job done.
As for the European Tour, I am happy with the odds on offer this week, which is no small part down to the top-two in the betting, Kaymer and Stenson. All four players have played well at points this season, and between the four of them I hope one of them can produce the goods.