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Spectacular start to the 34th BMW International Open.

+++ Molinari, Saddier and Hoshino in the lead after first round +++ Three German players one shot back +++ Hole-in-one for Takumi Kanaya (JPN) +++ Pros rack up 22,000 Euro for “Eagles for Education” on Thursday +++ Evening play interrupted by storms

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BMW International Open
 

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+++ Molinari, Saddier and Hoshino in the lead after first round +++ Three German players one shot back +++ Hole-in-one for Takumi Kanaya (JPN) +++ Pros rack up 22,000 Euro for “Eagles for Education” on Thursday +++ Evening play interrupted by storms


Munich. It was an auspicious start to the BMW International Open 2023. In the morning, Japan’s Takumi Kanaya set the course by recording a hole-in-one with a 9-iron from 155 metres at the 12th: spectacular golf, good scores and a leaderboard that promises high drama until Sunday, featuring numerous German pros in promising positions.

Kanaya won this year’s BMW Japan Golf Championship. His hole-in-one was not just the shot of the day: it was also the first eagle of the tournament. For each eagle, the BMW Group is donating 1,000 Euro to the “JOBLINGE” and “Kick ins Leben” organisations, in recognition of their many years of cooperation with the BMW Group as they work towards fair opportunities and educational equality. On Thursday, the pros recorded 22 eagles on their scorecards for a good cause.

At the top of the leaderboard is Edoardo Molinari, one of the three vice-captains in the European Ryder Cup team, who are competing in Munich alongside captain Luke Donald (ENG, -3, T35). Italy’s Molinari carded 66 strokes (-6) to share the lead with Adrien Saddier from France and Japanese golfer Rikuya Hoshino.

“I think that’s a good opening round,” said Molinari, who was nonetheless not entirely satisfied. “I hit the ball fantastically from tee to green, but putting wasn’t good at all again. You can’t complain after this round, so I’ll take it, move on and try to improve the putting. Some pins are quite tricky, so it’s about finding a good blend of being aggressive but smart at the same time.”

A large group that includes three German players is just one shot back, on five under par. Local hero Thomas Rosenmüller produced an opening round of 67 at his home club, as did Marc Hammer and Max Kieffer, who made a dream start with four birdies on the first four holes.

“Five under par is a good start. You always want to begin your home tournament well to carry some momentum into the next few rounds,” said Kieffer. “The BMW International Open is by far my favourite tournament. It’s got so much history, it’s a special place here and the atmosphere is always wonderful. I’m trying to enjoy it as much as I can. There is always a lot of pressure but I think I coped with that pretty well.”

However, the best-placed German player in the rankings is not on the leaderboard. Yannik Paul had been in with a good chance of doing well but back problems made it impossible for him to compete. Thomas Bjørn, BMW International Open winner in 2000 and 2002, is also not making an appearance this year. The Danish player is battling a painful shoulder condition.

Defending champion Haotong Li endured a difficult day. The Chinese player is a long way back after a double bogey at the first hole, and another at the sixth. A total score of 3 over par means that he will need a great performance tomorrow to make it into the weekend.

The second round of the BMW International Open at the Golfclub München Eichenried starts on Friday morning at 7:30. The few players who were unable to finish their first rounds on Thursday evening will be able to catch up on Friday from 8:00. The PDF document (“Tee times”) contains an overview of all tee times and groups.

You can find the current scores, more information about the BMW International Open and a livestream at www.bmw-golfsport.com

The latest pictures from the 34th BMW International Open at the Golfclub München Eichenried are available below, and at any time here: www.press.bmwgroup.com

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