What an awesome U.S. Open we had last weekend, with Brooks Koepka getting his 1st major (and well-deserved). Erin Hills didn’t get the tough weather we expected, so scores were super low all week. Ultimately, it made for great viewing this weekend, because typical U.S. Open scoring doesn’t bring the drama that the networks prefer.
This week, we head to the BMW International, where we have a decent field. The headliners are Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Bernd Wiesberger, and Tommy Fleetwood. We have tons of value in the middle of this field as well, so I’m leaning towards more balanced rosters.
The course this week is Munchen Eichenreid, which has been one of the main hosts of this event which is on a rotation of courses. As with most European Tour events, this is Germany’s National Championship, so we can look to find some Germans (and even Austrians) who might want to perform best in front of the home crowds. Some names that come to mind are Bernd Wiesberger, Max Kieffer, and Marcel Siem. The course is a 7,181 yard par-72 course, with plenty of water hazards and fairly firm greens. I’m going to key in on ball-strikers again, but also look at putting stats, which seem to correlate with this event.
For this week, I’m going to focus on players in good current form and those who have played well here in the past. The tournament has been on a course rotation, and was last played at this venue in 2015. Past winners at this venue include Ernie Els, Pablo Larrazabal (twice), Martin Kaymer, and Henrik Stenson. As we’ve said, the European Tour stats are notoriously unreliable, but from the digging I’ve done, here are the key stats of the week:
- Greens in Regulation
- Driving Accuracy
- Putting Average
- Driving Distance
Henrik Stenson ($11,600) – Stenson’s game is still a bit of an enigma, but it’s clear that he’s not at his best. He MC at the U.S. Open last week, which wasn’t that surprising. Previously, he had begun to find form in Europe, and I think that trend continues this week. Stenson loves this event and venue, where he won in 2006 and has posted a handful of other top-10 finishes. It’s important to note that after he WD from the U.S. Open last year, he won this event the following week (and then won the Open Championship). Stenson is still the class of this field when he’s playing well.
Bernd Wiesberger ($10,100) – It’s going to be interesting to see how Wiesberger responds to the travel and grueling schedule he’s played recently. He was solid at the U.S. Open, and has been one of the most consistent players in the world the past two months. His record here isn’t great, but he’s made all four cuts and finished 4th in 2013. Wiesberger has posted seven top-25 finishes in his past nine events, including a win in China. There’s plenty of fans rooting for the Austrian here in Germany this week, a country in which he’s had success previously. Wiesberger’s goal is making the 2018 Ryder Cup team, and he likely needs one or two more wins to secure that spot.
Martin Kaymer ($9,700) – Kaymer is another player who has to deal with travel from Erin Hills, where he played a tough four days. He struggled on the weekend and fell into a T-35th, but all-in-all it was a solid week for the German. He comes home to Germany and a course where he won in 2008. I think he’ll be highly motivated to regain some of the form we saw a month or two ago, so I expect Kaymer to be in contention this weekend.
Tommy Fleetwood ($9,400) – Many will avoid Fleetwood this week thinking that he’s due for an emotional letdown, but I’m on the other side of the fence. I think Fleetwood has been trending towards a win recently, and this lower-class field set up beautifully for him. Fleetwood has demonstrated an elite iron game this year, and makes enough putts to win any week. He’s elevated himself to one of Europe’s best and most consistent players, and is certainly going to be a factor at Royal Birkdale. He’s up to 21st in the world golf rankings, and comes to a venue where he’s posted 11th and 26th place finishes.
Pablo Larrazabal ($8,700) – Team course history is all over Larrazabal this week, who has won twice at this venue. He’s also posted a 3rd place finish here, and has another top-10 at Gut Larchenhof (part of this event’s rotation). Larrazabal is a very streaky player, and I’m going to continue to ride the hot hand even with a missed cut at the Nordea Masters. He’s had a handful of recent top-25s, and I think a top-10 is firmly in play this week.
Jordan Smith ($8,200) – The young Englishman continues to impress with his consistent play. A win is coming soon, and this may be the perfect spot for Smith. Many of the top studs are out of form and traveling from Erin Hills, and he should be very comfortable on this accuracy-based layout. He’s posted a handful of top-10s this season, hit a slump, but has bounced back with 48th, 40th, and 21st place finishes in his last three events. Smith is also a dynamic birdie-maker, so he’s a great fantasy golf play this week.
David Horsey ($7,500) – The first obvious value play this week is the Englishman, David Horsey. Horsey won here in 2010, and has posted 11th and 18th place finishes as well. He’s coming off a runner-up finish at the Lyoness Open, so we know that the form is there. At Gut Larchenhof, Horsey finished 7th last season, so this time of year is good for his game. He loves playing in Germany and this course that requires great iron play should be right up his alley. He’s the best value on the board.
Nicolas Colsaerts ($7,000) – Colsaerts poor performances here in the past worry me a bit, but I hope that he can make enough birdies to off-set the mistakes. Colsaerts makes cuts here, but only has one finish instead the top-50, which is well below his standards. His recent form is the best we’ve seen from him in years, coming off 8th and 3rd place finishes in his past two starts. That 3rd place finish was at the BMW PGA at Wentworth, so we know he’s contending on the toughest tracks and in the toughest fields. If he’s on this week, he’s a threat.
Dean Burmester ($6,900) – Our second obvious value play this week is Dean Burmester, who is severely underpriced. We saw him win earlier this year and go on a run of high finishes in South Africa, and at that time he was priced near the top of the field. Even though he’s cooled a bit, he’s made five straight cuts including a 9th place finish at the BMW PGA Championship. Sign me up for the long-hitting South African.
Scott Jamieson ($6,500) – Last but certainly not least is Scott Jamieson, the best value under $7,000 this week. Jamieson has posted 21st, 38th, 14th, and 21st place finishes in his past four starts, and is near the bottom of the salary list this week. He’s also played well here before, posting a 3rd place finish at Munchen Eichenreid in 2011. Jamieson isn’t a long hitter, but has found his game recently and makes more than enough birdies to pay off this salary.
Good luck this week!