Ryder Cup Hopeful Withdraws From BMW International Open

Yannik Paul was hoping to impress Luke Donald on home soil in Germany this week but has been forced out with a back injury

Yannik Paul
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Yannik Paul was hoping to further enhance his Ryder Cup chances this week but was a late withdrawal from the BMW International Open on Thursday with a back injury.

The 29-year-old German currently sits in a qualifying spot on the European Ryder Cup standings and was hoping to press his claims further on home soil with the DP World Tour in Munich this week.

However, Paul had to pull out just before his first-round tee time due to an unspecified back problem.

It's a huge blow for Paul, who had a big group of family and supporters in attendance for the BMW International Open as he looked to produce a big performance on home soil.

After landing his maiden DP World Tour victory in Mallorca in October, Paul has produced some consistent displays to move up into third in the European points list behind Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy.

He's now well in contention to become a Ryder Cup rookie in Rome later this year, but with a host of big names in the world points list then he'd be up against it for a captain's pick if he fails to qualify.

The injury is a big blow to his qualification hopes, but ahead of the tournament Paul said he is focused on just trying to play well, and let the Ryder Cup take care of itself.

“We’re getting closer (to the Ryder Cup) but there’s still a Rolex Series event, the Open, a Major, so a lot of events with a lot of points, and everything is really close together," Paul said ahead of the tournament.

"We’re all fighting for that last spot as Jon and Rory are high up. I’m trying to focus. I would love to play there but I’m trying to focus on what I can control. 

"I’m trying to play well. I want to try and get one of the ten cards for the PGA Tour and if I can play well, get in contention, win a few then the Ryder Cup will take care of itself.”

Paul will now hope the injury is not too serious so he can get back to playing and trying to qualify for Luke Donald's Europe team to play at Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome against Team USA.

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.