Sergio Garcia makes a rare stop on the European Tour this week as tees up at the BMW International Open, a tournament he has had a good record at in the past. The Spaniard will be hoping that his good form this season coupled with a strong showing at the US Open last week will put him in prime position to claim a title on the tour for the first time since winning the 2014 Qatar Masters.
‘El Nino’ has primarily focused his efforts on the PGA Tour, although he did make stops at the Qatar Masters this season as well as hosting the Open de Espana, recording top-10 finishes in both tournaments.The 35-year-old has only missed one cut worldwide this year, coming at the Northern Trust Open. His won the 2016 ATT&T Byron Nelson where he defeated Brooks Koepka in a playoff.
Garcia has enjoyed a good history with the BMW International Open, playing it six times in the past, collecting five top-30 finishes along the way. His best moment at the tournament came back in 2011, when he fired a third round 64 to jump into contention. His final round was good enough to get him into a playoff that he lost to countryman Pablo Larrazabal. The 11-time European Tour winner has experience at the Golf Club Gut Laerchenhof, having tied for 12th place there in 2014.
The Spanish rivalry will undoubtedly be one to watch come the weekend as Garcia goes in search of the crown he so nearly won five years ago, while Larrazabal is the defending champion, having won the BMW International Open for a second time last year.
Garcia ranks 10th on the European Tour in greens in regulation as well as first on the PGA tour for the same category, clearly showing his strength is his iron play. His weakness throughout his career has been putting, which is backed by his season’s statistics where he ranks 223rd in putts per round on the European Tour and 182nd on the PGA Tour for the same category.
The 2003 Nedbank Golf Challenge winner is in one of the feature groups on Thursday morning alongside Andy Sullivan and Thomas Bjorn and will be closely followed along with other pre-tournament favourite Danny Willett.