BMW International Open betting tips: Martin Kaymer to delight home fans

Martin Kaymer is fancied to repeat his 2008 victory
Martin Kaymer is fancied to repeat his 2008 victory

Ben Coley is backing Martin Kaymer to end his lengthy winless run in the BMW International Open, where the prolific Alex Noren is also in the staking plan.

Recommended bets

3pts win Martin Kaymer at 16/1

2pts win Alex Noren at 33/1

1pt e.w. Matthias Schwab at 80/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7)

1pt e.w. Adri Arnaus at 150/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7)

0.5pt e.w. Joakim Lagergren at 300/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7)

For the first time since the start of the year, the European Tour throws up an event in which the top of the market is made up of players with world-class credentials as the BMW International Open returns to Eichenried, on the outskirts of Munich.

Matt Wallace defends his second title in a month after a low-key effort in Denmark, before and after which he's produced some outstanding golf to take third place in the PGA Championship and 12th in last week's US Open.

He's followed by Sergio Garcia, very much down in the dumps at Pebble Beach despite a bright start, and Matt Fitzpatrick, who said following an encouraging share of 12th alongside Wallace that he feels a long way short of those who were fighting out the finish.

Back on European soil, all three of these are respected but it's Martin Kaymer who will be feeling best as he touches down back home and now might finally be the time for his five-year drought to end.

Kaymer has built on a back-to-form top-10 at the British Masters with third place in elite company at the Memorial and 35th last week, where only a poor putting display held him back. The two-time major champion hit his irons better than anyone in the field at Pebble Beach and everything seems to be coming together.

This time last year, Kaymer ought to have won for the first time since the 2014 US Open only to struggle under pressure over the closing holes of this tournament. It's not the first time he's done so since that famous catastrophe in Abu Dhabi, and there are those who won't trust him to deliver until he's shown that he can do so.

It could pay to try and get ahead of the curve, though, and I was taken with the way he spoke at the Memorial. Kaymer is always among the more interesting players around but it was particularly encouraging to hear him acknowledge the problems he's had while being as bullish as he gets when it comes to where things are right now.

"Last year in Germany was a bit of a surprise to me," he confessed. "I played well, but I didn't play great. And all of a sudden I had a chance to win the tournament.

"This week I just wanted to have a good week and work on the progress. I wanted to find the form that gives me the belief for the next three or four months that I can win a golf tournament."

If Kaymer needed the belief, finishing third after Patrick Cantlay's final-round fireworks, then taking that to a really solid week at the US Open, may just have provided it in time for a return to a course where he won his second European Tour title in 2008.

Having also tasted victory in Germany on the Challenge Tour, Kaymer is fancied to deliver at long last and kick-start his bid to qualify for the Open.

Joost Luiten also has winning form to his name in Germany courtesy of a Challenge Tour win in 2007, and his efforts at Eichnried have been solid as you'd expect.

He's entitled to go well along with Erik van Rooyen, improving all the time ahead of this German debut, and Thomas Detry, runner-up from out of the blue here in 2017 and clearly edging towards that first solo success at European Tour level.

All are respected, but at 33/1 I can't resist backing Alex Noren, a player who is a cut above almost all of these when it comes to the business of winning tournaments.

The Swede has in fact won seven of his last 40 starts on the European Tour, better than one-in-six, and it's possible that some humdrum form on the PGA Tour can be left behind now he returns to these calmer waters.

Noren has at last shown some signs of encouragement lately having not really kicked on from the Ryder Cup, and if he is going to come alive in 2019 then the time is now having long been at his most effective during the summer months.

All told, Noren has 11 professional wins and nine of them have been from the final week in May to the first week in September. Five of his 10 European Tour titles have in fact been secured in June or July, and that includes when he took the Open de France on his first start following last year's US Open.

Back in 2015 he won a fortnight before the US Open, he went 8-1 after the same major a year later, and he finished 10th on his first start after it in 2017, the year in which he returned from the USA to win the BMW PGA Championship on his first European Tour start since January.

Of course, the fact that he's slipped from 21st to 43rd in the world this year tells us he's not been at his best, but prior to the US Open he'd made every cut since the Masters and I can't stress enough that this is so much more his comfort level.

Indeed, his last European Tour start was ninth in Dubai, prior to which he'd won the Open de France and finished 17th in the Open itself, and having been fourth at this course on his last trip to Germany he's worth chancing despite slight concerns around his overall form.

Kaymer and Noren are advised win-only in the hope that both are in the mix come Sunday, which leaves room in the staking plan for three each-way plays at much bigger prices.

First, Matthias Schwab can continue his climb up the ranks at a course where he should be comfortable.

This mid-length par 72 is a parkland layout typical of this part of the world, and it's provided an eclectic mix of big-hitters, solid ball-strikers and sharp scramblers - no one type is preferred.

Schwab, who is accurate but not the longest around, shouldn't be at a disadvantage and his solid bank of form on home soil in Austria looks a nice pointer towards his chances with the two courses considered similar.

He was seventh on just his second start in Germany, and in terms of recent form finished ninth in the Made in Denmark before reaching the head-to-head round of the Belgian Knockout.

Schwab is narrowly preferred to Romain Langasque, the supremely talented Frenchman who has been less consistent but more dangerous, bagging top-six finishes in three of his last six starts.

Ben Coley has six each-way tips for the Travelers
Ben Coley has six each-way tips for the Travelers - click the image to read his preview

Haydn Porteous is somewhat tempting having been striking the ball well, Kurt Kitayama is on the shortlist as a 100/1 chance who is playing fine and has two wins already this season, while Alex Levy's outstanding record in Germany also earns him a second glance at a big price.

However, next on my list is Adri Arnaus, who played really well to make the cut at the US Open after qualifying in style at Walton Heath.

Arnaus ranked 10th for greens hit and 15th in strokes-gained approach among the game's best at Pebble Beach, and getting competitive there should tee him up nicely for a big summer having shown flashes of brilliance this year.

Second place on a tree-lined layout in Kenya is the pick so far, form which has been franked by the winner, and it's clear that there's a feeling on the circuit that Arnaus could be a real star when everything clicks.

As well as that encouraging effort in California, I like the fact he was fourth in at Sempachersee in Switzerland last year. The course is designed by Kurt Rossknecht, the designer of Eichenried and Bad Griesbach, a course used for a couple of editions of the European Open and the Paul Lawrie Match Play.

It's easy to draw ties between the three layouts, more so after Richard Bland finished runner-up at Sempachersee just a couple of weeks ago. Bland played in the final group here in 2017 and again finished second, while he also has two top-10 finishes at Bad Griesbach to his name.

Arnaus then might just take to this course at the first time of asking and it's certainly one which has been kind to Spain, with Pablo Larrazabal a dual winner, Miguel Angel Jimenez having won the 2004 edition, and both Sergio Garcia and Seve Ballesteros having been runner-up.

Arnaus has a long way to go to be mentioned alongside the last two but he's a player of huge potential and I'm happy to chance him here at 150/1.

Renato Paratore has some nice correlating form and was runner-up at Green Eagle last summer, but that big-hitter venue suits him a little better and his overall form is moderate despite eighth at the British Masters in May.

Instead, I'll give Joakim Lagergren another go at a big price after he went some way to justifying my suspicion that he's on the way back when starting well in Denmark.

After ending a run of seven missed cuts there, the Swede produced a bogey-free 67 to reach the latter stages of the Belgian Knockout only to make a costly mistake at the first hole against Matthew Southgate.

Still, it was another small step in the right direction and he could build on it at a course where results of 74th, 58th and 14th don't tell the full story.

On debut, Lagergren was inside the top 10 after the first round, on his second visit he was there at halfway, and on his third he played in the penultimate group in the final round alongside the eventual winner, Andres Romero.

That's compelling evidence that he really enjoys a course which offers both definition off the tee but also ample space for those occasionally errant drives to find a safe spot, and at 300/1 or thereabouts I don't mind speculating that he's in a good enough place to get in the mix here yet again.

Posted at 1225 BST on 18/06/19.

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