Rafa new
Rafa Cabrero Bello in action during the first round of the BMW International in Munich. Image Credit: Supplied

I shot a first round two under par 70 in the €2 million BMW International Open in Munich on the DP World Tour at Golfclub Munchen Eichenried, Munich, Germany.

My round was steady with four birdies on holes 4, 5, 9 and 11 and two bogeys. I was a little untidy on holes 16 and 17, going in the water from nowhere on the 16th, and took a five after taking a penalty drop, it is a short par 4 potential birdie hole. I holed a good 12 footer to save par on hole 17 after having hit the green in regulation and failed to get a birdie four on the home hole, which was playing the 15th easiest of the day.

My playing partners Rasmus Hojgaard of Denmark and Robert MacIntyre of Scotland have four DP World titles between them, three and one respectively.

I was impressed with the power and length of Rasmus, who shot a 66, and the consistency of Robert, especially a compact short game and an impressive putter, who shot 67.

Li on fire

Leading on his own is Chinese Haotong Li, who shot a 10 under par 62 helped by two eagles in his last four holes. Li is a streaky player and when he is on form he is tough to catch and today he was on fire. Six birdies, two eagles and 10 pars were his impressive scorecard statistics for the day.

Am I really eight shots back? On reflection I hit 16 greens in regulation and hit the ball pretty solidly.

Just a thought for the day, German Max Kieffer had a very unusual albatross, a two on the par five 11th hole measuring 555 yards. What an achievement. I remember my albatross at The Players at Sawgrass on the PGA Tour on hole 16, where I finished fourth. Great memories!

I lie tied 46th with play finishing late on Thursday with the longest day of the year, in terms of light, just two days ago. I have some work to do on Friday to ensure I am here for the weekend and, hopefully, moving up the leaderboard. There are 88 players from the 156 player field, who are in red figures after 18 holes.

Rafa Cabrero new
Rafa Cabrera Bello in the Hospitality Chalet on completing his first round. Image Credit: Supplied

My plan is to be a lot sharper in my approach play and on the greens.

Birdies are out there but you need to give yourself chances from close range. The leaderboard at the top is full of red and some yellow numbers (eagles). I noted that Kieffer’s albatross is also in yellow, no special colour for them. What a shame!

I watched some really good scoring from my group today, I want that to be me in round two.

Thunderstorms forecast

My tee time for the second round is at 8am on Tee 10. Fingers crossed for Friday’s weather. Thunderstorms are forecast, I just hope I get in before these arrive. There is nothing more frustrating than suspensions on and off during a tournament round.

If all the fans want to watch the golf from Munich on Friday, it is live on Dubai Sports Channel TV at 5pm UAE time.

Speak to you all after tomorrow’s second round.

— Rafa Cabrera Bello is a Dubai Golden VISA Awardee and has a winter base in Dubai. He is a four-time winner on the DP World Tour including the winner of the 2012 Dubai Desert Classic. Rafa is also an Ambassador of JA Resorts & Hotels.