BMW Golfsport – Joy loves to drive

BMW Golfsport – Joy loves to drive.
BMW – the global golf player.

Munich. With the BMW International Open, BMW organises the only top-class tournament on German soil. 1989 was the start of the success story for this tournament, which has been one of the most important and popular on the Tour for many years.

1989 also marked the start of BMW's involvement in professional golf. The relationship between the Munich-based company and the sport of golf has grown continuously ever since. In the meantime BMW is an integral part of the golfing world. As a strong and highly regarded partner it is the only brand represented on all the major tours.

With the organisation of four professional tournaments, more than 20 "Official Car" partnerships and the global amateur tournament series, the BMW Golf Cup International, BMW is the most important global player in the world of golf. The relationship with the PGA European Tour, which BMW also supports as "Official Car" at the Ryder Cup, is particularly close.

Professionals around the world regard BMW very highly as a golf partner. For example, the Major winner Martin Kaymer, who has been the World number one for eight weeks in spring 2011, represents the company as BMW brand ambassador.

BMW International Open (European Tour).
Since 1989 the BMW International Open has traditionally been held close to the company's headquarters in Munich. The tournament enjoys an excellent reputation among the players, who particularly value the extraordinary general conditions achieved by the organisers BMW: the course, which is always magnificently prepared, the seamless organisation, the popular evening events, and exemplary player care, which also includes the BMW Shuttle Service and numerous test vehicles for the players.

The title at the event, which boasts a prize purse of two million Euros, is one of the most prestigious on the European Tour. In the 22 years of the tournament, international stars such as Severiano Ballesteros, José María Olazábal (both Spain), Nick Faldo (England), Greg Norman (Australia), Bernhard Langer (Germany), Fred Couples (USA), Vijay Singh (Fiji), Ernie Els, Retief Goosen (both South Africa), Lee Westwood (England), Bernhard Langer and Martin Kaymer (both Germany) have regularly teed off at the BMW International Open.

17,400 spectators flocked to the course to follow the dramatic finale of the 2011 tournament. They witnessed a number of hopefuls come and go at the top of the leaderboard. In one of the most spectacular final rounds in the history of the tournament, 28-year-old Spaniard Pablo Larrazábal eventually shook off the challenge of his compatriot Sergio García in a play-off. Such was the quality of the all-Spanish duel that five extra holes were required before Larrazábal clinched victory. Five players finished tied in third place - Retief Goosen (RSA), Joost Luiten (NED), Mark Foster (ENG), George Coetzee (RSA) and Scott Jamieson (SCO). The best-placed German was Marcel Siem, who finished in 14th place. Superstar Martin Kaymer ended up in 18th place.

BMW PGA Championship (European Tour).
BMW has been partner and lent its name to the European Tour's flagship event in English Wentworth (Surrey) since 2005. The tournament boasts a prize purse of 4.5 million Euros and is regarded as the most prestigious title on the European Tour.

This year the challenging West Course hosted a world-class field, which is regarded as one of the best in the 56-year history of the tournament. 93,404 spectators – more than ever before – were treated to top-class golf from all four reigning Major winners, six of the top seven players in the world rankings, and each and every member of the victorious 2010 European Ryder Cup team. This remarkable BMW PGA Championship came to a head with a play-off between the top two golfers in the world at this time – Englishmen Luke Donald and Lee Westwood. Donald eventually came out on top, leapfrogging his compatriot to the top of the world rankings.

It ultimately all came down to the approach shots to the first play-off hole, the eighteenth. While Donald landed his iron shot within 10 feet of the hole, Westwood's ball spun back into the water hazard guarding the front of the green. This opened the door for Donald, whose birdie secured the most important title on the European Tour and a winner's cheque for 750,000 Euros. He also became the third Englishman to top the world rankings, after Sir Nick Faldo and Westwood.
US PGA Champion Martin Kaymer struggled to come to terms with the blustery wind and tricky West Course. The BMW brand ambassador finished tied in 31st place after rounds of 74, 71, 72 and 71 (4 over par), thus defending his position as number three in the world.

BMW Championship (PGA TOUR).
BMW has been organising one of the most important tournaments on the PGA TOUR, in the form of the BMW Championship, since 2007. The event in Chicago is the third of four play-off tournaments and is often a good indication of who will go on to win the lucrative FedExCup. In 2007 and 2009 Tiger Woods was victorious and went on to win the FedExCup in both years.

Justin Rose (271, -13) held his nerve to emerge victorious at the 2011 BMW Championship. The Englishman flew out of the blocks with an opening round of 63 (-8 for the round) and was never toppled at the top of the leaderboard. Second place went to John Senden (273), while Geoff Ogilvy (274) took the third spot. Both Australians joined Rose in rocketing into the top thirty of the FedExCup rankings and qualifying for the TOUR Championship.

Rose had played too well all week at the Cog Hill Golf & Country Club to let his third PGA TOUR victory slip from his grasp. When the 2007 European Tour Order of Merit winner chipped in magnificently for a birdie on the seventeenth in the final round, he gave himself breathing space heading down the eighteenth hole on the iconic Dubsdread course. Four shots later, victory was Rose's. The win earns him a winner's cheque for 1,440,000 US dollars.

BMW Masters (PGA European Tour).
The tournament, which boasts a prize purse of seven million dollars, will make its debut from 25th to 28th October this year and marks the return of BMW to China after a four-year absence. At the start of the millennium, BMW was one of the first brands in the world to promote and encourage the growing enthusiasm for the sport in Asia. Between 2001 and 2008 the company responded to the growth in popularity by organising a European Tour event: the BMW Asian Open, which was also held in Shanghai. The tournament will be played on one the top courses in China, which was designed by golfing legend Jack Nicklaus. The best golfers in the world will tee off in Shanghai. The BMW Masters will feature a provisional starting line-up of 78 players, predominantly consisting of pros from the top 100 in the world rankings. The remaining start places will be made up by four invited players and a 14-man contingent from the Chinese Golf Association (CGA), which is cooperating with BMW on the organisation of the tournament.

Ryder Cup.
Held every two years, the Ryder Cup is one of the most important events in golf. In October 2010 the twelve best pros in Europe and the USA went head to head at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport (Wales). BMW was also involved as partner and "Official Car".

In a competition that was initially dominated by heavy rainfall, but will ultimately be remembered for outstanding golf, the Europeans succeeded in regaining the cup they lost to the Americans in 2008. After four days – due to the rain, the tournament was extended to the Monday for the first time in its history – it all came down to the final match. Northern Ireland's US Open champion Graeme McDowell showed stronger nerves than his American opponent Hunter Mahan and sealed victory on the penultimate hole. Europe won by the narrowest of margins, 14.5 to 13.5.

The next Ryder Cup takes place in Medinah (in the US state of Illinois) in 2012. Two years later, the USA and Europe will face each other in Gleneagles, Scotland. In 2014, BMW will once again be "Official Partner" of the Ryder Cup.