Big Finish Building on European Tour


European TourAfter two huge tournaments in the United States, the European Tour heads back into familiar territory with this week's BMW International Open in Munich, Germany.
It marks the beginning of a stretch run of big September events that includes the European Masters, the HSBC World Match Play Championship, the 36th Ryder Cup at the K Club and ending with the WGC - American Express Championship in England.
This week also marks the final event in which Ryder Cup points can be earned to make Ian Woosnam's 2006 squad. Although most of the team is pretty much set, it is the two captain's picks that could make this an interesting week.
Several big names that appear unlikely to secure automatic spots and thus hope to get a nod from captain Woosnam are Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Thomas Bjorn, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Darren Clarke.
They all are in the field this week looking to make good impressions, with the exception, of course, of Clarke, who will not be on hand due to the death of his wife two weeks ago. It is still unknown when the Irishman will return to action.
Woosnam currently has seven players guaranteed of making the 12-man team: Luke Donald, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, David Howell, Colin Montgomerie, Robert Karlsson and Paul Casey. Of those, only Stenson, Karlsson and Garcia are not playing this week.
This is the ninth straight year in which Golf Club MunchenNord-Eichenried is playing host and the 14th time overall. The European Tour moves to Switzerland next week for the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre.
Lat year, Howell posted a 7-under 65 in the final round to outlast John Daly by a stroke to earned his second career victory. The 31-year-old Englishman has since added another pair of titles and is ranked 12th in the world.
Daly will be in the mix again this year, trying to get back to the winner's circle he visited back in 2001. This will be his sixth straight year in the event and has finished in the top-11 in four of his five starts.
The Golf Channel will telecast all four days from Germany beginning Thursday at 9:30 a.m. (ET).
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - BMW International Open
  • Full Coverage - BMW International Open
  • Golf Channel Airtimes