ANY Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course has to be world class and a challenging layout … and Gut Laerchenhof doesn’t disappoint.
The philosophy of Nicklaus is a good shot should not be punished and that is reflected in the BMW International Open with players rewarded for precision golf.
The final holes on both the front and back nine are the most challenging and guarantee exciting finishes. The hilly landscape will demand a precise short game so Greens In Regulation will be a stat to look at with driving accuracy another.
- COURSE: Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof: 7229 yards; Par 72.
After Tommy Fleetwood’s performance at the US Open he must be on everyone’s mind for this week’s BMW International Open those exertions at the weekend in New York mean it might be better to give him a miss here.
One man who jumps out is Spaniard Adrian Otaegui. He won the Belgium Knockout three weeks ago and then missed the cut at the BMW PGA Championship.
That win wasn’t really a surprise as he had two top-20 finishes and a second at the Volvo China Open leading up to the Belgium tournament. In 2017 he won The Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Matchplay and with his Belgium win I can see him adding to his two European Tour wins before the end of this season.
- Driving Accuracy: 68.1% (43rd). Greens in Regulation: 74.4% (12th).
I couldn’t decide between Andy Sullivan and Lucas Bjerregaard for this so I’ve decided to take both. They are both in good form with maybe the Dane the better pick.
He was struggling a bit early in the season but in his last four tournaments he has finished 6-5-T3 and although he was T71 in the Italian Open he wasn’t over par in any of the four rounds.
Like Sullivan he can be a bit wayward off the tee but makes up for that with his approach shots and putting. The 26-year-old won the Portugal Masters last year and looks to be one for the future.
- Driving Accuracy: 59.2% (173rd). Greens in Regulation: 73.9% (24th).
As I said above it’s hard to separate Andy and Lucas and the Englishman has been off the boil this season. However, in his last four outings he has had three top 10s (T7-T3-T35-T5) and looks to be regaining the form he has shown over the past couple of years.
Over those four tournaments he has a stroke average of 69.32 which is 1.72 better than the field on average. Like so many on the European Tour he will also have an eye on the Ryder Cup and will be trying to catch the eye of captain Thomas Bjorn.
- Driving accuracy: 61% (138th). Greens in Regulation: 73.1% (35th).
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