Hoey and Maybin looking to build on Irish Open displays

Gareth Maybin in action at Fota Islan
Gareth Maybin in action at Fota Islan

Michael Hoey and Gareth Maybin are in Germany this week for the BMW International Open hoping to build on positive performances at The Irish Open.

Hoey fired a final round 66 at Fota Island to grab his third top 10 in what has been a very consistent season.

“There’s a lot of world ranking points on offer with the likes of Martin Kaymer and Henrik Stenson in the field,” said Michael.

“The Golf Club Gut Lärchenhof is quite generous off the tee which can suit me, I can spray it around a bit.

“It is more target golf. I was second in the Tshwane Open earlier in the year on a course that was also really long and wide open. It’s similar to that so hopefully it sets up well for me.”

It’s a measure of Michael’s current confident state of mind that would love to play alongside Martin Kaymer at some stage at the weekend in Germany.

The US Open champion will, understandably, have huge support this week and Hoey would love to get a taste of that atmosphere.

“I watched the putts that he holed at Pinehurst on his way to winning. He is a phenomenal putter when he is on,” added Michael.

“I played with him a few years ago in China. When he gets it going with the putter he is like Tiger and that’s why he was able to win by eight shots.”

Maybin finished 14th in Co Cork after closing with a level par 71.

It has been a difficult season for the Ballyclare golfer, but he is hoping to build on his positive finish at Fota Island.

“There is a big stretch coming up now and the game is showing signs of improvement and hopefully I can continue that form,” added Gareth.

The Ulster duo will be joined in Germany by a strong Irish contingent, including Shane Lowry, Simon Thornton, Damien McGrane, Peter Lawrie, Paul McGinley, Kevin Phelan and David Higgins.

Meanwhile, world number two, Henrik Stenson, will look to become only the third multiple winner of the BMW International Open.

The Swede became the first man to win both The Race to Dubai and the US PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup in 2013, and he travels to Cologne after a tie for fourth a fortnight ago at the US Open Championship.

That result has Stenson much happier with his improving form, but the 38 year old hopes he can start to replicate his form of 12 months ago, beginning this week in Germany.

“It’s been pretty good recently,” said the eight-time European Tour winner.

“I haven’t been at my best, but it has been good enough to register some positive results and keep me ticking away.

“Now would be a great time to start playing well. I know that from last year, so if I can replicate anything near that this summer and into the autumn, I’d be delighted.”

In an unusual sight for those gathered at his press conference, a relaxed looking Stenson was accompanied by his wife, who he jokingly said would be ejected if she asked any awkward questions. The eight-time European Tour winner has every reason to feel at ease in Germany though, as one of only 12 former champions in the field, having overcome Retief Goosen and Padraig Harrington in a play-off in 2006.

“This is a game where at the highest level, it’s more about margins. You have to strive to get an extra 15 or 20 per cent all the time, or a little bit of luck,” said Stenson.

“I’m pretty close to being where I want to be, so I don’t have too much to worry about on the game front now.”

Stenson will get his title challenge under way at 1240 on Thursday alongside Victor Dubuisson and Bernd Wiesberger.

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