Marcel Siem survived a tense finish to win the $2 million Hero Indian Open 2023 at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurgaon and return to the winner’s circle more than eight years after he had won his last DP World Tour title. In doing so he also became the first from Germany to claim India’s national Open.
“I'm proud to lift the trophy here,” the popular 42-year-old said later. “People have always been nice to me in India and I feel really, really you know welcome here and I'm proud of winning the tournament in such a cool country.”
Siem started the final day one shot behind fellow German Yannik Paul but caught up with him with two birdies on the front nine against one by Paul. Back-to-back birdies then put Siem two ahead but there was a twist in tale on the 13th.
Siem bogeyed and Paul birdied for a two-shot swing and suddenly, the two Germans vying to be the first from their country to win the Hero Indian Open, were tied at 13-under.
Over the last five holes they managed just one birdie and it came from Siem which would be decisive. He finished on 14-under to win by one shot over Paul (13-under) with Dutchman Joost Luiten taking third place a further shot back.
As the tension escalated, Siem, who has compared the DLF Golf Course set-up to that at a Major because of the multiple challenges posed survived a 72nd hole hiccup even as Paul, who needed a birdie to force a playoff, missed his putt from inside 12 feet.
“I’ve worked really hard and it’s crazy,” Siem said later. “It is a second kickstart for my career. I was gone. Lost my card, Challenge Tour, Q School. Thank you so much to my family, my team and my sponsors. I think there’s more to come now. This means a lot.
“The win on the Challenge Tour was very special, very emotional with my daughter. We just moved to Mauritius three weeks ago, I moved the family there. Two years ago, I wasn’t even sure if I could compete on the DP World Tour, now I’m a winner again. Come on.
“Winning a golf tournament, being back in the winner’s circle now, it means everything to me. It’s just unbelievable. It was tough out there with Yannik (Paul), he played unbelievable. No room for errors.
“Coming from top 20s straight to a win (is unexpected). My goal this week was a top ten. I never really had the feeling that this was my week. I played with Joost in Thailand, he finished third there, Yannik came with a top two from last week so I thought I needed to do something special to win this golf tournament.
“That Qualifying School category is not a good category. You have a card but you never know when you’re going to get the starts. You have to play literally everything and now I can choose and pick where I want to go again, it makes life a lot easier. I can prepare properly on the golf course, it’s a life-changer. I just can’t believe it. It’s amazing.”
“I just made it a little bit too difficult on 18 unfortunately but it was really tough out there. First of all the golf course doesn't allow you to make any mistakes so the pressures on anyhow and then Yannik and Joost were just pushing. It was tough there really I'm really, really tired. I think I was one of my toughest golf rounds I've ever played in my life. It's exhausting.
“I only had one bad shot to be honest today well in the six holes the last but got me in a really bad spot. I made bogey and all of a sudden I start again you know all the all the work was vaporized away.
“You know then you want to get the job done for sure. The last time I was close in India was at the Avantha Masters and I think I finished fourth so I have had a few top tens in India. It's massive country you know so many people and I think golf has grown a lot here as well like I said before you a lot of good Indian players now. And I'm proud to lift the trophy here.”
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