Marcel Siem made a memorable return to the DP World Tour winner’s circle after more than eight years away as he fought off the challenge of fellow German Yannik Paul to claim a one-shot victory at the 2023 Hero Indian Open.
Siem won four titles between 2004 and 2014 but has had to wait until now for DP World Tour crown number five, although he did win Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge on the European Challenge Tour in 2021.
The 42-year-old, who secured his card for the 2023 season at the Qualifying School in November, went into the final round one shot behind overnight leader Paul but made four birdies over the first 11 holes to move two strokes clear.
His first bogey of the day at the 13th resulted in a two-shot swing, as playing partner Paul made a birdie there to pull alongside Siem at the top of the leaderboard.
Siem fought back though, holing from 15 feet for a birdie on the long 15th to regain the solo lead ahead of the difficult finishing holes.
And after parring the 16th and just missing his birdie try after a delightful approach into the 17th, Siem took a one-shot lead to the 18th.
Having narrowly cleared the water guarding the green with his third shot, Siem made another par at the last to end his long wait for a win after Paul was unable to convert his birdie putt.
Siem made a total of five birdies and one bogey in his closing 68 to finish the tournament on 14 under par.
Paul was alone in second on 13 under, with Joost Luiten another shot further back after his Sunday 68.
Siem trailed by one shot at the start of the day but poured in his 20-foot birdie putt at the long fourth to join his compatriot at the summit.
He got a second birdie on the eighth courtesy of a wonderful up-and-down from the bank close to the water.
Siem took the outright lead with a birdie at the tenth before making it back-to-back gains from around ten feet at the 11th to stretch his lead to two shots.
After saving par at the 12th, Siem dropped his first shot of the day on the 13th following an errant tee-shot – and with Paul making a birdie from six feet, a two-shot swing meant they were tied at the top.
But after walking away from the tricky 14th with a par for the first time this week, Siem sent his approach at the 15th to 15 feet before holing the putt to lead on his own once again.
Back-to-back pars followed on the 16th and 17th before Siem opted to lay up at the par-five 18th.
In the rough after two shots at the last, Siem managed to clear the water and two-putt for par to clinch the crown, after Paul missed his birdie try.
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