Germany is still a divided country, the top scorers in West Germany’s Bundesliga are Thomas Allofs and Roland Wohlfahrt, and Nick Faldo celebrates his first Masters win.
Meanwhile, Munich plays host to the inaugural BMW International Open. For organiser BMW and golf, this is the start of a partnership that will in time raise the bar and set new standards. In 2013, the tournament is celebrating its 25th birthday (18th to 23rd June, Golfclub München Eichenried). The anniversary year was officially launched at an opening press conference in Munich today. The officials arrived at the BMW Museum in BMW Classic cars. Among them was golfing legend Paul Azinger. The American was in Munich as the guest of honour at the anniversary event: “Zinger” – alongside Denmark’s Thomas Björn – is one of just two players in the 25-year history of the tournament to lift the trophy on two occasions. Azinger won in 1990 and 1992 – both times in a play-off.
“Apart from the Open Championship, the BMW International Open was the first tournament I played in Europe,” Azinger recalls. “As well as the two titles, I also have a lot of very fond memories of the days spent in Munich.” Azinger was full of praise: “BMW’s commitment to golf is fantastic. We players cannot be grateful enough.”
Azinger travelled to the press conference in a sky-blue and white Isetta. Next to him at the wheel was Magnus Wiese, Head of Events, Exhibitions and Sports Marketing: “We have established something great with the BMW International Open, and have helped shape the sport of golf for 25 years. That is a success story,” said Wiese. No other tournament on the European Tour has enjoyed such a long and continuous partnership with its organisers. Wiese still remembers what was, for him personally, the most emotional experience in the history of the tournament: “Martin Kaymer’s victory in 2008 was a very special moment for all of us.”
The best players in the world – led by world number two Rory McIlroy and BMW Brand Ambassador – also sent their best wishes for the 25th anniversary of the BMW International Open.The only German winner in the history of the tournament, 2008 champion Martin Kaymer, will be joined by big-hitting American Dustin Johnson, British Open winner Ernie Els of South Africa, and world-class Spaniard Sergio García in Munich this summer, as they take their place among a starting field littered with top European players.