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Exciting Final Rounds at the World Final of the BMW Golf Cup

December 13th, 2007


Major-winner Michael Campbell congratulates Finalists

Sydney. The 2007 World Final of the BMW Golf Cup International was decided during the very last minutes of the final rounds at the New South Wales Golf Club in Sydney, with the women’s category having to go to a play-off and two points separating the first two places in the men’s category one. Just a single point made the difference in the men’s category two. Stefan Krause, BMW Group, member of the board of management, sales and marketing, said: "Golf is especially important for BMW. It represents a sport many of our customers play. It is also a sport that stands for precision, aesthetic and performance and is practised all around the world. We are very proud to stage the world´s most popular golf amateur series. It has been great to be back in Australia for the 2nd time and see so many happy faces among our customers from 45 different countries."

One of the tournament's highlights was the visit of the 2005 US Open champion Michael Campbell. Following three intensive rounds in a large variety of conditions, the World Finalists learned how a golf professional copes with these challenges. The biggest celebration came from Malaysia's Peng Hoon Wong. She had to compete in a play-off with Denisa Pavlikova of the Czech Republic. Pavlikova won the hole and the title. Wong, however, was worried about not
meeting the major winner due to the play-off. Following her final putt, she suddenly noticed Campbell coming up the fairway, while conducting a golfing clinic for the BMW Golf Cup International competitors. Wong raced down the fairway and straight into the arms of the 2005 US Open champion. “I thought I would not get to see Michael Campbell at all, because of the play-off," she said. "Then, as we finished the hole, I saw that he was coming up the 10th fairway right behind us. I didn’t plan it, I just ran up to him. I am a lucky girl", she said of her hug with the friendly New Zealand professional. "He even signed my cap".

Denisa Pavlikova, a seven-handicapper from Prague, said she did not expect to win, because her low handicap meant she was giving strokes away at every hole. "That made it very tough", she said. "It was very exciting and I really enjoyed it. This was my first time in Australia and my first time in the BMW Golf Cup International tournament. I will definitely try to qualify again."

Josef Kauer of Austria took the men’s category one title, just two points clear of runner-up, Ming Hsiu Wang of Taiwan. The 12-handicapper Kauer only took up golf five years ago. "Before that I played football, ice hockey and tennis. I was able to learn to play golf very quickly." Kauer previously qualified for this tournament in 2004, when it was last played in Sydney. "I came fifth in 2004 and I vowed I would be back again. It is great to come back and win,“ he said. Kauer lives and works in Munich and he and his family are fans of BMW Group products: “After the 2004 tournament, I bought a BMW 525, my father bought a 530 and a BMW motorbike and my mother bought a MINI Cooper,“ he said.

The team prize was won by Austria with South Africa second and Malaysia third. “We have seen some excellent golf over the three days and it has been a great tournament,“ said Magnus Wiese, head of BMW Golfsport Marketing. “The competitors have had to face a wide range of conditions, with wind becoming a factor on the final day. The players have certainly enjoyed the experience of playing two of the finest golf courses in Australia and the comradeship of this BMW event. The tournament took place on the La Perouse course at the New South Wales Golf Club and on the adjoining St Michael’s course. Both are outstanding courses with spectacular views. La Perouse in particular was described by former World No. I, Greg Norman, as “one of the greatest oceanfront golf courses in the world".

The men’s category two title went to Sooi Yee Chiang of Malaysia, who came from behind to win the championship after his opponent faltered on the 18th hole. ”I am not used to playing in these windy conditions,“ said Chiang. "I played it safe and punched the ball low and let it run". The formula was enough to defeat runner-up Stefan Widder of Austria by a single point. Widder said he played a perfect round all the way to the 18th. "I was a bit nervous at the finish, because I was in the lead", said Widder. ”Then I blew it with a bad drive and a three-putt. But it has been a great experience. You feel like a pro, when you play this tournament.“

Even those who finished down the leaderboard celebrated a superb event. Karina Elgaard of Denmark was just one stroke outside the qualifying mark for the 2006 BMW Golf Cup International, but succeeded this year. "I will go home with very happy memories", she said. "We have played on great courses and had a chance to meet people from all over the world. I will definitely try to qualify again next year". For Ahmet Kaya of Turkey, his golf during the tournament was "not good – my swing deserted me". But, the Istanbul player added: “I feel like a million bucks. Everybody is happy. From the time you get picked up at the airport, you get treated like a pro. Everything was perfect – except for my swing!".

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