Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Marcel makes his mark in March

Marcel Siem has been named The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month for March following his wire-to-wire win in the Trophée Hassan II, with which he came within a whisker of gaining a place in the Masters Tournament. Siem, who receives an engraved alms dish and a Jeroboam of Moët & Chandon champagne, achieved his commanding triumph on the magnificent Golf du Palais Royal course in Agadir, Morocco, with rounds of 64-68-69-70 for a 17 under par total of 271 – three shots ahead of David Horsey and Mikko Ilonen. The 32 year old German, who was winning for the third time on The European Tour International Schedule following successes in the Dunhill Championship (2004) and Alstom Open de France (2012), was denied an inaugural appearance at Augusta National after failing by just by 0.03 points to make the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Siem, who picked up the monthly award for the first time in his career, said: “I am delighted to have been chosen by the panel for this honour. I was really pleased with the way I played the whole week in Morocco and it is nice to see that that has been recognised. “I knew I had to win the Trophée Hassan II to have a chance of playing in the Masters but knowing you have to do something and actually going on and doing it are two different things, so I am very proud of myself for that.“Obviously it was disappointing just to miss out in the end, but to be named as Golfer of the Month is a major consolation prize and will always be a great way to remember my third European Tour win.” The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month Panel, comprising members of the Association of Golf Writers as well as commentators from television and radio, also particularly praised the performance of Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Maybank Malaysian Open) on becoming the fourth player from Thailand to triumph on The European Tour International Schedule in addition to acknowledging the win of Thomas Aiken in the Avantha Masters. James Corrigan, Golf Correspondent of The Daily Telegraph, said: “There were a variety of outstanding performances during March – indeed we agreed that Henrik Stenson deserved special mention for a significant return to form culminating in him climbing from 58th place to 41st in the Official World Golf Ranking which earned him a place in the Masters. “Kiradech Aphibarnrat was, at 23, the youngest winner of the year so far and a player we all agreed has great potential, while Jaco Van Zyl won twice in South Africa. But the way Marcel Siem played his entire tournament, starting with a 64 in difficult conditions and finishing so strongly, merited enormous praise from the panel given that he knew that winning could possibly earn him a first visit to Augusta National. “Subsequent events meant that he missed out by the narrowest of margins but Marcel showed with his win that he could produce winning golf of the highest calibre under the severest pressure, and for that, he is a worthy winner of the award for March.” Siem will now be considered – along with January winner Chris Wood, February winner Darren Fichardt and all the subsequent winners to come throughout the season – for The 2013 Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year Award – seeking to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner, Rory McIlroy.