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BMW International Open: Major champions Garcia and Stenson on the march in Munich.

With major champions Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson moving to within touching distance of the leaders, the cream is rising inexorably to the top in the BMW International Open at Golfclub München Eichenried.

BMW International Open
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Munich. With major champions Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson moving to within touching distance of the leaders, the cream is rising inexorably to the top in the BMW International Open at Golfclub München Eichenried.

While the current Masters and Open champions were looking forward to challenging for the coveted title over the weekend, there was only disappointment, however, for Germany’s Martin Kaymer. The former champion and twice major winner, missed the cut by one stroke after a second successive level-par round of 72. “I fought to the end and had a lot a chances but it wasn’t to be,” he said.

With blustery winds affecting play, the second round proved tricky for all the competitors. At the end of the day Stenson and Garcia were in joint second place, just one stroke behind Joakim Lagergren, of Sweden, and Joel Stalter, of France. Garcia, who played beautifully from tee to green, birdied the last hole for a 70 to move alongside Stenson on eight under par. “I would have loved it to be four or five-under, which I think I could have done quite easily,” he said. “But it was a little bit tricky out there today.”

After his round Stenson set off to the practice ground in a bid to iron out a glitch in his game. In an ominous sign for his rivals, the defending champion from Sweden had a fighting three-under-par 69 in the morning’s swirling winds and then declared himself dissatisfied with the overall quality of his play. If he finds his ‘A’ game, the rest had better beware. “My swing is a work in progress at the moment, but I’m not getting to where I want to be,” he said. “I played better yesterday and just need some more consistency.”

Lagergren, meanwhile, defied the conditions to record the best score of the day, an excellent 66 that included eight birdies and just two dropped shots.  He was particularly pleased that he had played in the company of Thomas Bjorn, the Europe Ryder Cup captain for 2018. “I need to do a lot to get on that team, so I'll start with impressing him today and hopefully will impress him the rest of the year,” he said with a smile.   

Few players in the field had bogey-free rounds, but Bernd Wiesberger was one of them. Wiesberger, BMW Ambassador Austria, moved to six under par after a 68 and is nicely placed to march on over the weekend. “The wind gusted at up to 30 kilometres an hour at some points, which makes it difficult on any course,” he said. “I just kept it together and kept the bogeys off the card. And that's what counts.”

England’s Tommy Fleetwood, BMW Ambassador UK, joined Wiesberger on six under par with a round of 71.

The most surprising score from a German perspective was the 67 achieved by Max Schmidt, one of three amateurs in the field. He comfortably made the cut on three under par, and was delighted with a round that included seven birdies. “It is really cool,” he said. “Five under in the wind is not bad, is it?”

The best placed German in the field is Max Kramer, on four under par. Among those who missed the cut were Thomas Bjorn, Matteo Manassero, Marcel Siem, Robert Karlsson and Jose Maria Olazabal.

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