Ernie Els went wire-to-wire at the BMW International Open. (Little/Getty Images)
Editor’s note: Ernie Els is writing a blog for PGATOUR.COM in 2013 and this is his latest installment. For more information on the World Golf Hall of Famer, visit www.ernieels.com
It was really great to be back at Munich and playing in the BMW International Open again and obviously it turned out to be a wonderful week for me. I’ve been working really hard at my game this year and around the time of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, and then into last week’s U.S. Open, there was a definite sense that it was all coming together.
It all came together pretty good here in Munich!
I’ve tried for a long time to win this golf tournament and it feels great to finally get my name on this wonderful trophy. Before we go any further we’ve got to thank and congratulate BMW for its 25 years of support in this tournament. They do a great job and let me say that away from the golf course it’s also one of the most enjoyable weeks of the year for us players. Thanks again, guys.
That first round was the dream start for me, especially having come straight from a tough week in the U.S. Open at Merion. Obviously I played some good stuff there, so my goal was to carry that form into the BMW. Seven birdies and an eagle for a 63 was certainly a neat way of doing that. We knew it was going to be low scoring week, so if you come out of the blocks fast like that, it does somewhat take the pressure off for the rest of the tournament. It means you’re not having to play a game of catch-up all week.
Friday wasn’t quite such a good day, but I fought hard all day to shoot 69 and I was satisfied with that. It put me in a nice position going into the weekend, when the course would probably play a little tougher. There was a lot of golf to play, but the key thing is to stay in the race and keep moving forward.
That’s what we did on Saturday, too. I was a little out of sorts on the greens on the front nine, struggling with my distance control, but after a slight adjustment around the turn, I felt like I played some proper stuff coming in. It could have been a really low number out there, but we were in a good position still, co-leader and with everything to play for on the final day.
Then in the final round I really had it going, with a comfortable outward half of 3-under par, but then made it tough for myself after making bogey on 11. Thomas [Bjorn] was playing great, but he stumbled on 14, then obviously we were aware that Alexander [Levy] was right up there, but he also had some problems on the back nine. So it was really a case of just staying composed and focusing on hitting good, solid golf shots down the stretch.
It was tight right down to the wire, though, so we knew we’d probably have to make birdie on 18 to secure the win. To play that hole so well and make a secure two-putt birdie, that was obviously very satisfying. Any time you have a tap-in birdie putt to win a golf tournament, you’re a happy man!
So this win gives my game even more positive momentum and it also gives me a lot of confidence inside, especially as it was a wire-to-wire win. They’re the most pressure weeks, because you’re sleeping on a lead every night and knowing the guys are chasing you. Trust me, this win feels very sweet!
Finally, thanks so much for your messages of support. It really means a lot.
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