Martin Kaymer heads field for European Open

Ryder Cup team members Martin Kaymer and Thomas Pieters will tee it up

Martin Kaymer heads field for European Open
Martin Kaymer heads field for European Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With a week until the Ryder Cup, Martin Kaymer and Thomas Pieters will complete their final preparation in the Porsche European Open at Bad Griesbach.

A strong field has assembled in Bad Griesbach this week to contest the prestigious Porsche European Open. Major champions Martin Kaymer, Padraig Harrington and Ernie Els will play, along with European Tour stars like Thomas Pieters, Bernd Wiesberger and Thorbjorn Olesen.

Kaymer and Pieters will be looking to hit top gear as they ready themselves for Ryder Cup action next week at Hazeltine. Ryder Cup vice captain Paul Lawrie is on the start sheet, together with former Ryder Cup stars like Robert Karlsson, Peter Hanson, Victor Dubuisson and Oliver Wilson.

Paul Lawrie on playing the punch shot:

This event was first contested on the European Tour in 1978 when Bobby Wadkins was the victor at Walton Heath GC. The tournament has been played at some of the finest courses – Turnberry, Sunningdale, Royal Liverpool and for a number of years at the K Club in Ireland. Previous winners of the competition include: Bernhard Langer, Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam, Tom Kite, Sandy Lyle, Lee Westwood and Colin Montgomerie.

The event disappeared from the schedule after the 2009 season but made a welcome return last year when Thongchai Jaidee was the champion at Bad Griesbach. The Thai golfer won by a shot from England’s Graeme Storm.

With five Championship golf courses – three of which were designed by Bernhard Langer – and three hotels, the Hartl Resort at Bad Griesbach is the largest golf and spa resort in Europe. The tournament will be contested over the resort’s Beckenbauer course.

The weather forecast looks set fair and it appears at this stage there shouldn’t be any delays to play this week.

Venue: Golf Resort Bad Griesbach, Bavaria, Germany Date: Sep 22-25 Course stats: par 71, 7,188 yards Purse: €2,000,000 Winner: €333,330 Defending Champion: Thongchai Jaidee (-17)

TV Coverage: Thursday 22 – Sky Sports 4 from 10am Friday 23 – Sky Sports 4 from 10am Saturday 24 – Sky Sports 4 from 12pm Sunday 25 – Sky Sports 4 from 12pm

Player watch: Scott Hend - He missed the cut at the Italian Open but the big-hitting Australian was on fine form before that. He was second at the Omega European Masters (losing a playoff) and then tied fourth at the KLM Open. He was fourth in this event last year.

Rikard Karlberg – Tied 9th in this event last season, the Swede is playing himself into form right now. He was tied 12th last week in his defence of the Italian Open and he showed some good play, particularly in a first round of 64.

Richard Bland – Another man on good form, the Englishman has two tied 5th place finishes in his last three starts. He was tied 9th in last year’s European Open.

Key Hole: 18th. This is a treacherous finishing hole of almost 470 yards. The drive is tricky as it must travel far enough to prevent the second being blocked by trees on the corner of the right to left dog-leg. Any drive pulled left could be in trouble. The approach is a daunting one to a green with water lurking short and right. Don’t be surprised to see the odd disaster at this closing hole.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?