Tuesday, 24 June 2014

BMW International Open 2014 - Gut Larchenhof GC





I'm back in action this week having enjoyed a well earned family holiday in Italy the past two weeks. Those that have subscribed to the mailing list will be happy to see that my last post on the US Open tipped the runaway winner, Martin Kaymer as well as Dustin Johnson for some small place money. That's back to back US Open winners for the blog following Justin Rose's victory at Merion 12 months ago. I saw not a single shot of it, nor did I see anything from Fota, but having spoken to a few of my golfing buddies who attended the Irish Open in Cork, it was a very successful  event with massive crowds showing up all 4 days. Congrats to Mikko Ilonen for prevailing in a wire to wire win.

So, onto this week then, as the pace gathers momentum into the summer months as we head to Cologne for the BMW International making its return to the Gut Larchenhof GC. The course is some 40km away from Mettmann GC where the aforementioned double Major Champion, Martin Kaymer played his golf growing up (also a course I was lucky enough to play quite regularly whilst working in Dusseldorf back in 2000 may I add). Last time Kaymer played here though he missed the cut, but he truly is back in form and he'll be keen to keep it up with The Open looming in 3 weeks time. There will be quite a bit of hype around his appearance this week and despite sleeping in his own bed for it, the pressure to win might be just too big. Its a fantastic field this week and he's joined by Henrik Stenson at the head of the market who appears to be about to hit a winning week anytime soon. They're both too short in the betting for me given the quality in the field and same can be said for Sergio Garcia who was unlucky not to win the Travelers Championship on the PGA Tour last Sunday.

I'm liking the chances of Paul Casey this week @ 35/1. The Englishman has been in the mix quite a bit on the PGA Tour lately and having played in Ireland last week as defending champion, he'll be happy to return to Germany on a course that will reward accurate play from the fairways. Given his length off the tee,Casey could put his recent form to good avail here, as he arrives with 5 TOP20s in his last 12 starts. He's a former BMW winner at Wentworth and he has shown in the past that he tends to go well in events sponsored by the same companies (Volvo being another). I thought he'd be much shorter this week so very happy to take this price and the fact that he tees off early Thursday alongside Paul Lawrie & Robert Karlsson, old mates from the tour, augurs well for a nice relaxed threeball the first two days.

Regular fancy, Thomas Aiken, is well worth backing at 110/1 here where GIR is a must if results from the course two years ago are anything to go by as winner, Danny Willet was 5th for GIR (8th in DD). Indeed Aiken was 11th in DD that year but was down in 40th for GIR. He ranks in the TOP10 though this season for GIR and as mentioned many times in the past, he's one of those players that can show up any week. He plays alongside Shane Lowry & Francesco Molinari, again with an early start and if the threeball get off to making birdies early he can certainly feed off his partners and go low. He's simply too big @ 110/1!

Recent winner, Tongchai Jaidee is regularly overpriced and he is (for me) again this week @ 66/1. The Thai won well in Sweden despite Stenson looking like the winner for most part of the weekend and he produced that result following a couple of TOP10s in his 5 recent starts. He's playing well and should be much shorter in the betting especially as he produced a TOP10 last time here in Cologne.

Two more make my staking plan this week. Pablo Larrazbal should have gone better in Ireland last week and despite losing his golf clubs on transit to Germany, he'll be a good bet again @ 66/1 ! One of those players that can shrug off one weeks results with a challenging performance the week after, the Spaniard can get amongst the leaders here and contend.(He won't be distracted by the World Cup now anyway either) His TOP30 finish in Fota comes a week after the US Open and he'll be the better for it here. TOP30 finish last time in Cologne, Pablo is real value at 66s. Finally, Kristoffer Broberg put up a great effort last week finishing 3rd. That's his 2nd TOP10 in his last 8 starts which also includes a further T20. At 175/1 this week there's no need to get too greedy and he represents some value for small stakes given his obvious formline of recent weeks.Alex Noren is tempting @200/1 but I'm not convinced that wrist is 100% so I'll be just observing this time but he wont be that price for much longer!

Staking Plan (5.5 pts) (see also my 10towinsoon page where all 10 tee it up here this week)

1 pt e/w P.Casey @ 35/1
0.5 pts e/w T.Jaidee @ 66/1
0.5 pts e/w T.Aiken @ 110/1
0.25 pts e/w K.Broberg @ 175/1
0.5 pts e/w P.Larrzabal @ 66/1