WIL Besseling shot a four-under par 69 to secure a two-shot victory in the latest BMW Indoor Invitational at Germany’s München Eichenried golf club.
The Dutchman finished top of a leaderboard featuring 31 European Tour players in the third of five events in the new series of virtual golf tournaments using the latest simulator technology powered by TrackMan.
Following his victory at the Bavarian venue, Besseling joined his countryman Joost Luiten in the virtual winner’s circle after his impressive win at St Andrews two weeks ago.
Besseling, like Luiten, claimed the first prize of $10,000 towards a charity of his choice.
The 35-year-old opted to split the cheque between two charities that will benefit from the donation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Doneereenmondkapje.nl – Donate a Protective Mask – supplies protective masks to frontline workers in the Netherlands, while Bake for Life, a charity close to his heart, creates jobs and sustainable incomes for people in Africa.
Besseling and the rest of the field, including ex-World No. 1 Martin Kaymer and last week’s winner Connor Syme, competed virtually from their own homes in the 18-hole strokeplay event.
Besseling opened his round with a bogey, however picked up two shots on the sixth and seventh before a second bogey of the day came on the eighth hole.
He bounced back to birdied the ninth and the round picked up pace with an eagle on the 11th, plus birdies to follow on 12 and 14.
Despite a third bogey on the 17th hole, it was enough to secure a two-shot win over last week’s winner Syme and Frenchman Alexander Levy, following their 71s.
European Tour’s innovation praised
THE third winner of the series was quick to praise the European Tour for coming up with the virtual golf tournament series.
It has helped occupy players who have been left in limbo during the lockdowns in most European countries – and which have seen more than a dozen regular tournaments cancelled since February.
Besseling said: “It’s a great initiative from the European Tour, BMW and Trackman to get together and organise something totally different compared to what we are used to with normal golf tournaments.
“Virtual golf has been here for a while but not the way in which we have been using it at the moment.
“The last couple of months have been so different to any other period in my career and it has been really exciting to see what it is capable of because it is so realistic. The courses are incredible.
“To have the ability to host tournaments indoors, I was happy to see it as we could not leave our homes, so I entered straight away for all five weeks.
“I finished third and second in the first two weeks of competition, so really cool to get the win now, my first virtual win.
“I had a rough start.” Wil added: “I got it going in the middle of the round and thought I still had a chance, so nice to have that feeling again.
“Even with it being indoors and being by yourself in a room, having a shot of being able to win something was exciting for me.”
Masks crucial for key workers says Wil
BESSELING was also pleased to be able to make a difference to two causes that are close to him for different reasons.
Each of the five tournament winners in the BMW Indoor Invitational receive $10,000 to give to good causes of their choice.
“I am very happy to be helping out two charities by winning this week and hopefully changing people’s lives for the better,” said Besseling.
“Half of my donation will be made to Doneereenmondkapje.nl who are doing great things in the Netherlands.
“They donate the money they make to buy protective masks for hospital staff, healthcare workers, and those people delivering essential services to make sure they are all protected.
“The remaining $5,000 will go to Bake for Life. It is a different charity but also a great one where they open bakeries in Africa, creating jobs for people and selling bread to generate their own income.
“It started close to my hometown and I think it is a great initiative to help people in the world by not only giving them money – but also creating jobs and helping them develop a sustainable living.”
Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, Frenchman Raphaël Jacquelin and home favourite Kaymer finished tied fourth at Golfclub München Eichenried with a one-under 72.
Somerset’s Laurie Canter and Frenchman Benjamin Hebert were a further shot back.
Tournament footage was shown on the European Tour’s social media channels with fans following using #BMWTrackManInvitational.
Valderrama and Wentworth to come
FOOTAGE of the BMW Indoor Invitational is available on the European Tour’s social media channels
YouTube: EuropeanTour and
•The last two BMW Indoor Invitational events are at Valderrama on May 30, and Wentworth on June 6.