“I was really looking forward to playing in front of a crowd at home and in front of my family for the first time,” he said. “Unfortunately, I can’t compete due to inflammation of the tendon capsule in my wrist.” public on his Instagram account on Thursday. “I’m so sorry for the fans in Hamburg, but I wish you a great tournament anyway.”
German hopes rest on Marcel Sim, among others, who was the last German to win a championship in a major professional golf round. However, the victory was almost eight years ago: in November 2014, Siemens won the Masters in China. In the $1.75 million tournament in Winsen/Luhe, he has until Sunday a chance to win another major title in front of his home crowd.
Four of the best German players at the beginning
Siem is no longer the first German competitor when it comes to immortalizing itself on the trophy. The golfer from Mittmann is ranked 246th in the world – thus the seventh best German player. Three of the best German players who left Sims behind are at the start. And all three, unlike the 41-year-old, have already made the top ten this year.
Most recently, Marcel Schneider finished fourth in the Dutch Open, before Yannick Pohl finished second in Belgium. Then Hurley Long, Olympic participant in Tokyo and 27th best German in the annual European Tour standings. He finished second in Kenya for a long time and finished in the top ten in three other tournaments. So it seems only a matter of time before a German wins a championship on the European Tour (renamed the DP World Tour this season).
Ritthammer and John were close in Winsen
The tournament is being held at Green Eagle Golf Courses in Winsen for the fifth time. And in recent years, at least two Germans have come close to victory. In 2018, then-amateur Allen John, who had just taken gold at the Deaf Olympics for the second time, came second, just one stroke away from winning. A year later, Bernd Reithammer suffered the same disappointment when he had to admit defeat to England’s Paul Casey on the last hole.
Ryder Cup captain Stinson still has credit to win
This year, along with Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, Swede Henrik Stenson is also one of Winsen’s international stars. The winner of the 2016 British Open, one of the four Grand Slams (comparable to the Grand Slam tournaments in tennis), has just been named the new Ryder Cup captain for the European team. That’s why Stenson will have plenty of additional assignments off the golf course ahead of next year’s continental battle between Europe and the United States in Rome.
Even though he is now 46 years old, he still wants to try to keep up and win championships. “I still have something to make up for here in Winson,” he asserts. Because last year Stenson failed to cut — after two out of four rounds, only the top 65 and tied players are allowed to continue playing into the weekend.
“Green Monster” is one of the best courses in Europe
The fact that the task is particularly difficult for Stenson and all other golf professionals is also due to the course at Winsen. At an altitude of almost 7000 metres, it is considered one of the longest and most difficult European treks. So rocker and golfer Alice Cooper gave the name “Green Monster”. But despite the difficult water hazards of 17 of the 18 waterways, Siem considers the course to be the only one in Germany that can rival the best courses in the world.
Albers aficionados: ‘It’s very exciting’
Not new territory, but the track and championship will be a very special challenge for Anton Albers. The 22-year-old was one of only two amateurs to initially secure a place in the professional field. Albers studies in Little Rock (Arkansas) and is currently the best German in the amateur world rankings. It comes from Buchholz in der Nordheide, just 30 kilometers from the “Green Eagle Golf Courses”.
“It is incredibly exciting to be involved in the tours with those I only follow on social media or on TV,” says Albers, who outshines many professionals. Because Buchholzer has played the course countless times. However, not all aficionados are expected to end the Germans’ drought on the European Tour.