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November 2, 2014

Marcel Siem


SARAH GWYNN:  Marcel, thank you for joining us, champion of the 2014 BMW Masters.  Just talk us through today and how it was out there.
MARCEL SIEM:  I got off to a nice start with a birdie on the first, and I knew with the windy conditions, that it might be a little better chance to have a chance to win the tournament.
Alex, unfortunately, didn't have his best day, and I played very solid the front nine.  And then the back nine were really, really tough.  The golf course was total opposite to the first three days.  It was hard to play and the course was a real monster, and I'm super pleased, still can't believe it.  I'm over the moon.
SARAH GWYNN:  And that chip at the end, were you thinking that it's got to go in?
MARCEL SIEM:  Yeah, I thought just to stay in the playoff, actually, I have to hole it.  I was expecting one of the guys to hole the putt actually.  It's just fantastic.  A chip‑in is always cool, but to have a in a playoff is even cooler.  It's my third tournament I won in a playoff so far, and pretty cool, I like that.

Q.  I saw during the playoff after the tee shot, you seemed to be very relaxed, and I saw you had some communications with Rose and Alex.  So what did you say to him?
MARCEL SIEM:  I mean, we talked about the next tournament already, actually, and Rose asked me how I get to Turkey and just little things you talk about just to get the pressure off a little bit.
Yeah, it's a total different pressure when you are in a playoff because the worst scenario is tied second.  So if you have a putt on the 72nd hole, which I had the putt to win, it was a lot more pressure than going down the last hole there.  It's fantastic.  I love it.

Q.  Why was it more pressure?
MARCEL SIEM:  It's different.  I mean‑‑

Q.  The worst you're going to do is get into a playoff.
MARCEL SIEM:  But still, I don't know, it's weird.  It's just different.  I hit actually an okay putt.  I didn't hit it too firm, but in the playoff, you just go for it.
But you're right, the worst case‑‑ if you have the putt to win the tournament, you go really firm and it goes like this, past the hole and you have that to get in a playoff it's a different story than losing the playoff in a way because all of a sudden you're third or, I don't know.
I have never been in a position like this to be honest in such a big tournament.  Open de France was a very big tournament, as well.  But you try not to think about the prize money, but it's crazy prize money here.  So the pressure rises a little bit more than usual, and yeah, I made it, I'm super happy.

Q.  Plus you got an extra 200 Euros today.
MARCEL SIEM:  No, we didn't play.  That's the funny thing, yeah.  We weren't sure if it's allowed or not, if you play with each other if you are allowed to gamble.  So we said we don't do it.  It was a disappointment, yeah.  So we said the first round of Turkey, we're going to play for the 200, we didn't play today for.

Q.  When do you first sense that Alexander wasn't quite on his game today and that maybe it was your day?
MARCEL SIEM:  He started missing his wedges.  He pushed them a little bit.  It's always a sign of not releasing the golf club.  On the front nine, first three rounds what I saw on television, he hit every wedge shot close and I saw, okay, there's a slight chance.  Especially with the wind, I knew the back nine is going to be so tough.  I got off to a nice start and put some pressure on him.
Yeah, JD had a bit of a nightmare.  We all had a few nightmares.  I think the key today was not to have a double‑bogey or triple‑bogey somewhere, and I managed to do that.  In all fairness, I didn't feel great to finish bogey, bogey, it's not nice, actually.  But it's just brutal golf holes.  The flag on the right is actually impossible to get there.  Alex hit such a great golf shot and still was six metres left, and 18 was just unbelievable, driver, 3‑iron today.  It's a proper stretch.  It's nice to finish with a birdie but ended this way and I'm super pleased.

Q.  When you talk about a playoff and just going for it on 17, I realise it's a hard hole location, and you're left up in the hill, 18 you're well right in the rough.  And the playoff, that was probably as significant a shot, to hit it straight down the middle and give yourself a good go at it?
MARCEL SIEM:  Yeah, it's my fourth time now that I won a tournament.  The tournament before I won, I was‑‑ I think you have to learn.  You have to be more in the position to be as cool as, let's say, Tiger or Rory or those guys.  They are winning ten, 12, 15 tournaments in their life and they get used to it.
I just tried not to make any mistakes.  Usually I'm a very, very aggressive player and I'm not afraid of hitting the ball too aggressive in the water or something.  But all of a sudden you see‑‑ I didn't want to look on the leaderboard.  I knew if I make a big mistake, I bring everybody back into the tournament.
So I tried to avoid the mistakes, hitting it left in the water on 18, not hitting it right in the water on 17, and then all of a sudden, you stand there and make a not‑aggressive bogey, which feels even worse.  But I think it's a learning process for me, and to stay a little bit cooler.  I was not shaking.  I was not really nervous, but I think decision‑wise, to picture the golf shot, I think I have to learn in this particular situation how to cope better.

Q.  In the playoff you had nothing to lose.
MARCEL SIEM:  Yeah, playoff, I thought the second shot, actually was stiff I thought.  And I couldn't believe it was short.  I mean, I was fist‑pumping already over the ball when I saw it in the air, it was a perfect number, 75 and I thought it was more right‑to‑left than hurt actually.  And I got there and it was short.  I couldn't believe it.  Yeah, but I knew I have to hole the chip to stay in the playoff actually.

Q.  What was the club?
MARCEL SIEM:  5‑iron. 

Q.  On 18 in regulation, did you notice a dog running in the fairway behind you?

Q.  What were you thinking at that point?  Always some crazy things happen when you play in China.
MARCEL SIEM:  I love dogs and it's totally fine.  I mean, it's the same on the golf course when people‑‑ when the phones go off or something like that.  It's not nice but when a baby cries, for example, this is just nature.
So I think you shouldn't be upset with that, and it was a baby dog and it was just cool to watch, it was very cute, cute little dog.  I would say actually without that little break, I might have hit 5‑wood out of the rough and try to get it on the green.  But thought about it and said, all right, didn't know where Alex really was, and we thought level par was going to be enough to win the tournament.
So thought hit 3‑iron short right of the green and should be kind of easy up‑and‑down.

Q.  Do you think Alex had gone in the water?
MARCEL SIEM:  Yeah, looked like it was never dry.  Otherwise I would have hit 5‑wood if I had known.

Q.  Did you have already have an exemption to get into HSBC before this week, and now you are playing in the HSBC next week, how do you feel about it?
MARCEL SIEM:  Yes, it's fantastic.  I come here with a very, very low expectations because of my two surgeries.  And yeah, now I'm in the HSBC, it's fantastic.  I played it two years ago.
Yeah, I had two surgeries.  So got me to 150 in the world now and I'm on the right track again to get back in the Top‑50 in the world, playing the tournaments with the best players in the world is really the goal I have.  I'm really over the moon to have the chance to compete next week with the guys.
The only problem I have now is that my wife flew to Thailand because I wanted to have a little holiday with her there, so now I have to get her to China.  Hopefully I can get a visa.  I think it's going to be a little bit of a problem for her coming from Thailand to China but I'm over the moon to play next week in the HSBC.

Q.  I think this is going to move from you 53rd to fourth in The Race to Dubai.  Obviously this is the start of The Final Series?

Q.  What would that mean to you if you can sort of maintain that and finish up, probably your best finish in The Race to Dubai.
MARCEL SIEM:  Wow.  I didn't even look at that.  That's fantastic.  I really haven't thought about that.  Sounds great, No. 4 in Europe (smiling proudly).  Yeah, thanks to BMW again to have this kind of a tournament and The Final Series and all of the other tournaments coming now, to have actually the chance to make such a big step forward.  Yeah, I'm back in the mix now.  I'm really looking forward to play some good golf the next three weeks.

Q.  How did your emotions change as you're playing, as Justin says, hanging on for dear life on the back nine, and all of a sudden you take the lead for the first time on the 16th.  Did that change your outlook going to 17?
MARCEL SIEM:  Yeah, I mean, I really thought make two pars, and the tournament is yours.
I tried to hit a low cut into that green, and double‑crossed it unfortunately.  And then all of a sudden, you're all‑square again, so to say, match‑play words.  It's totally different.  The tournaments before I played, I didn't have that‑‑ I mean, Open de France was a tough stretch as well but it was not as windy.  I didn't know really if the scoreboard was right or not and stuff like that, as well.
So I was a little‑‑ we should never look on the scoreboard anyway.  But I tried my best and I tried to stay cool and I think I did that really, really well.  People know me know that I‑‑ bogey, par, bogey, I don't like that and my emotions could go a little crazy sometimes and I stayed really, really calm and I'm proud of that.  I'm getting older, two kids now, so maybe that's the reason why.

Q.  Do you not let your hair down when you win?
MARCEL SIEM:  Only for my wife (laughter).

Q.  Is your wife already in Thailand?
MARCEL SIEM:  She must have landed now, yeah, and‑‑ yeah, she is in Thailand.  My plan was with Nicolas Colsaerts to go to Phuket.  One of his sponsors gave us a house for free for the week, and I got my wife over.  Would have been the first time since five years on a holiday on our own.  But I think she will be still happy not to do that.  But I have to work hard to get her as quick as possible over here to China and organise the visa.

Q.  When was your flight?
MARCEL SIEM:  7.00 tonight.  It's a nice change.  I really take that change, I have no problem at all with that.

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