Marcel Siem gave German fans much to cheer about as he made it through to the semifinals of the $1.2 million Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play championship at Golf Resort Bad Griesbach in Germany. Siem is looking for his fifth European Tour victory, and his first since 2014.
This one would be sweeter since he has yet to win in his homeland.
The 37-year-old fought his way through to the last four after needing an extra hole to see off England’s Robert Rock in the quarterfinals.
Rock was 2 up standing on the 15th tee, but Siem birdied that hole and the next to draw level and then took the match at the 19th.
“That was by far the toughest match,” Siem said. “I don’t know how many birdies we made on the back nine together but it was quite a lot. I was down all day and it was very tiring because you have to fight and dig deep.
“I have to take it shot by shot again tomorrow. It’s match play and I love that. I love the pressure. Waking up in the morning buzzing already. I didn’t sleep a lot every day here because I was kind of nervous and I love that. I love the match play format and I can’t wait to go out there tomorrow and hopefully win.”
Siem takes on Johan Carlsson. The 30-year-old Swede defeated defending champion Anthony Wall by one hole after the Englishman double bogeyed the final hole.
“It feels great,” Carlsson said. “Anthony played really solid and hits the ball great and I feel very lucky.
“I just try to play my own game, that’s what I’ve been trying to do the whole time. If you think too much about what the others are doing, you can get in bad situations mentally.”
The other semifinal is an all-Spanish affair between Alejandro Canizares and Adrian Otaegui. Former University of Arizona player Canizares defeated England’s Chris Paisley at the 20th hole while, Otaegui defeated Germany’s Alexander Knappe.
“I feel good, it was a good match,” said Otaegui. “We played some good golf, some good shots. I think it was good for the crowd. I really enjoyed playing and after winning I’m very happy.”
Canizares, the 2003 NCAA Champion, is looking for his third European Tour victory, and his first since the 2014 Trophée Hassan II.
“Playing Adrian will be something interesting,” Canizares said. “He’s playing great. It’s going to be a great match, two Spanish guys. It’s a pity that we have to play in the semifinal, but it will be a lot of fun.”
Canizares and Siem are the favored players since both have won on Tour. Otaegui and Carlsson are looking for their first wins.