Els looking forward to BMW International test following tough US Open examination
Peter Lawrie, Shane Lowry, David Higgins and Gareth Maybin to compete in Munich
Ernie Els hits a tee shot on the 18th hole during the final round of the 113th US Open at Merion Golf Club last week. Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images
Reigning Open champion Ernie Els is looking forward to getting back on the birdie trail at the BMW International this week after a punishing week in America.
The South African tied fourth at the US Open at Merion on Sunday thanks to an impressive one-under-par final round of 69.
That saw him post a five-over total for the tournament, won by England’s Justin Rose who finished one over.
Els carded five birdies in his final round, having managed just 13 all week on the relatively short but brutal Pennsylvania course.
However, he is hoping for a less mentally-draining experience in Munich, where the tournament has returned for its 25th anniversary.
“I’ve been coming here for a long time and hopefully the course is not as tough as Merion – it will be nice to putt for a birdie now and again,” Els said at at Golfclub Munchen Eichenried.
“You’ve still got to hit the shots. Although it’s easier shots and the shot values are a little bit different than the US Open.”
Conditions in Germany may be soft like Merion but the course is nowhere near as punishing. “Hopefully it’s not 22 under par, but it’s going to be low, because it’s soft,” added Els. “They have had a lot of rain here, so the course will be soft and when conditions are soft these guys will make birdies so you have to try to shoot a 66 every round.”
Yorkshireman Danny Willett is hoping a back problem will not hamper the defence of his maiden European Tour title secured 12 months ago.
“I’ve been trying to make sure the back is good and strong, especially for this one, so I’m happy to come back,” said the 25-year-old. The Irish challenge features Peter Lawrie David Higgins, Shane Lowry and Gareth Maybin.