BMW International Open predictions: English duo to challenge Horschel
Billy Horschel is the star attraction for the DP World Tour's BMW International Open, which starts in Germany tomorrow.
Horschel won the Memorial Tournament in Ohio at the start of this month — his seventh PGA Tour title — but he missed the cut in the US Open last week.
The West Ham United fan enjoys his trips across the Atlantic Ocean to compete in Europe and he won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last year.
As by far the highest-ranked player in the field, the Floridian will be a popular choice for people looking to predict the winner, but he is making his course debut and could need time to settle.
Smith set to shine
There could be a strong English presence on the leaderboard this week, with Jordan Smith well equipped to head the charge.
Smith has developed a serious consistency this season and seems completely at ease with his golf game.
The greens-in-regulation machine has been regularly contending on the DP World Tour, finishing T12 in the Abu Dhabi Championship, T9 in the Dubai Desert Classic, runner-up in the Ras al Khaimah Championship and T2 in the MyGolfLife Open.
Last time out — in the European Open — Smith led by two shots going into the weekend and ended up finishing 10th.
That was another bold effort in Germany, a country where the Bath boy appears to thrive — Smith's only previous DP World Tour victory came in the 2017 European Open.
And he led the 2019 BMW International at this week's venue going into the final round, before carding a Sunday 72 to finish T3.
This is a timely return to a Golfclub Munchen course that he relishes and Smith has nobody to fear in this line-up.
Mansell in pole position
Richard Mansell is a similar player to Smith — and maybe both men can slug it out for the title on Sunday afternoon.
Mansell and Smith are two of the best ball-strikers on the circuit — they ooze control from tee to green — setting up countless birdie opportunities.
Problems have come closer to the hole, but Mansell has made great strides with his putting in recent weeks, having recruited a new putting coach.
A much sharper short-game has seen the 27-year-old excel on the DP World Tour over the last few months.
His form figures going into the US Open last week were T30-T26-T8-T23-9-T3, with the third place coming in Germany in the European Open.
There was no disgrace in a missed cut in the US Open — it was his debut in a Stateside Major — and the Midlander can be expected to get back among the birdies in the BMW International.
Mansell opened with a miserable 74 on his Eichenried debut last year, but fought back well to finish T37, and much better can be expected this week.