Three players are tied at the top of the leaderboard going into Friday’s second round of the BMW International Open: Lasse Jensen (Denmark), Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spain) and Daniel Gaunt (England) went round the Championship Course at Golfclub München Eichenried in 65 shots (-7), thrilling the 14,000 spectators with a dazzling display of top-class golf in glorious sunshine.
However, a big chasing pack littered with big names is hot on their heels. Among them is world number seven Henrik Stenson (67, -5). It looked briefly as though the Swede’s challenge was set to fade after a triple-bogey on the sixteenth (his seventh) hole. However, Stenson kept his cool, shooting eight birdies to fight his way back into a tie for fifth place.
“There was a lot going on there today,” said Stenson, who won the BMW International Open back in 2006. “I got off to a pretty good start, and I didn’t do too much wrong on 16 but wound up with a triple bogey. I hung in there and tried to just keep on going. Then I wrapped up with a nice string of birdies on 5, 6, 7 and 8.”
The two best-placed Germans trail Stenson by just one shot after the first round: Munich-born Florian Fritsch (68, -4) thrilled golf fans on the Championship Course with five birdies and just one bogey – and was happy with his ‘home-coming’ performance. “I have played here a few times in the past, but never particularly well. Today was a different story,” he said. “I just putted better than I have before. Then a nice run of three birdies in a row took me to four under par. I will try to continue to play my game and take it one shot at a time – then we will see what happens in the end.”
Marcel Schneider also carded a 68 (-4) to tie with Fritsch and a further twelve players in tenth place. Fellow Germans Anton Kirstein (70, -2), Bernd Ritthammer (71,-1), and local favourite Marcel Siem (-1) also broke par. BMW Golfsport Ambassador Max Kieffer, who turned 25 today and was presented with a new BMW M4 Coupé for his birthday shortly before starting his round, had to settle for a level par 72, along with two-time major winner Martin Kaymer.