MARTIN Kaymer and Lee Westwood will go head-to-head from their own homes as the European Tour switches formats for the new BMW Indoor Invitational.
The eSport special is a series of virtual golf tournaments using the latest simulator technology powered by TrackMan that will run over the summer featuring courses including St Andrews, Royal Portrush, Valderrama and the European Tour’s Wentworth HQ, in Surrey.
With regular tournament action currently suspended due to the ongoing global fight against the spread of coronavirus, many leading professionals have been turning to solutions at home to try and keep their game in shape.
Thanks to the latest TrackMan software and simulators, they have been able to keep their golf brain sharp.
So as well as Ryder Cup stars Kaymer and Westwood, Joost Luiten, Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Bernd Wiesberger will start off the BMW challenge.
Players will compete remotely using their home set-up between Monday and Wednesday.
The action will then be shown on the European Tour’s social media channels each Saturday for the next five weeks:
The BMW Indoor Invitational will enable them to compete against each other, with golf fans able to watch all the action – using #BMWTrackManInvitational – on Youtube, Instagram and Twitter.
Tournament footage will also be available via https://bmw.trackmaninvitational.com
The new series will consist of five one-round strokeplay tournaments played virtually on some of Europe’s most iconic golf courses.
Winner will receive £10k for charity
Each tournament winner will receive $10,000 towards their chosen charity or relief fund which has been helping communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saturday May 9 – St Andrews, Old Course
Saturday May 16 – Royal Portrush
Saturday May 23 – Golfclub München Eichenried
Saturday May 30 – Valderrama
Saturday June 6 – Wentworth
Rufus Hack, the European Tour’s chief content officer, said: “While the absolute priority for all of us has been, and continues to be, public health and well-being, we also recognise that golf fans are missing watching the leading players compete.
Hopefully, the BMW Indoor Invitational – powered by TrackMan – can help fill the void and provide our fans with some entertainment across the next five weeks while also benefitting charities, or relief funds, which have been so essential in the battle against coronavirus.”
Jörn Plinke, head of BMW Golfsport marketing, said: “In a time when pro golf tours around the world are being forced to take a break, we are able to offer golf fans – as well as the pros themselves – a unique competition in the form of the BMW Indoor Invitational.
“We are looking forward to the coming weeks, an innovative format, and some exciting digital content.
“BMW enjoys long-term partnerships with TrackMan and the European Tour and shares the aspiration to also drive golf further with a digital format.
“Together, we have managed to create a new type of competition, which features a host of top players and, with the prize money on offer, supports local coronavirus initiatives.”
Trackman co-founder Klaus Eldrup-Jørgensen said: “BMW, the European Tour and TrackMan teaming up like this is a great example of how the sport can come together and rise above the difficulties of the current situation.
“With TrackMan Virtual Golf, we’re able to play tournaments on iconic, internationally recognised courses that will push the players to their limits.
“The tournament will be extremely challenging but also great fun. We’re all really looking forward to it.”