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November 11, 2015

Marcel Siem

Shanghai, China

PAUL SYMES: Marcel, welcome back to the BMW Masters. I'm sure you won't mind me taking you back 12 months. How many times have you watched that chip-in for birdie back since then?

MARCEL SIEM: I couldn't get around it, so many people said that to me -- it was fantastic. It was something I had a lot of dreams about even. It's pretty cool. All the images, doing that huge fist-pump was amazing and it's great to be back here now and sitting in the same spot after I won the tournament. So, it's nice, thanks for having me back.

PAUL SYMES: You're very welcome. Results this year maybe haven't been quite as good as you'd like, but I heard you say outside there was some encouraging signs in Turkey, particularly over the weekend.

MARCEL SIEM: I had a good start to the season, when I was still full of confidence going into the Nedbank and finishing fourth there.

And tried to fiddle around with my techniques a little bit in Florida and December. Started off at AT&T, it was a pretty good result, 18th, and after that kept working on my techniques and never really got back into the flow of play as well.

I tried to play a little bit over in the States and get a schedule but I always had two or three weeks off in between, so that was not the best preparation or I think planning for the season, I have to say.

But changed my coach four weeks ago, new caddie, mental coach. So I changed the whole team, and since three weeks, I'm really feeling something developing, more consistency in my game, when it's very important for me to improve every year. My clubface, I was very open and my backswing, so under pressure sometimes it worked out and sometimes it didn't.

I want to really perform at the highest level consistent. That's why I did the changes, and the last two weeks, I played a lot better. Friday was a bit of a hiccup in Turkey but after that, I played really, really steady and my putting is back. And now I'm here and very good memories, and can't wait to go out there and perform tomorrow.

Q. What are your most vivid memories of last year?
MARCEL SIEM: The memories were quite funny, with Alex Levy, we were playing for a hundred Euros every round since Portugal and I lost every round. Even that week when I shot 66, he shot 65; I shot 65, he shot 64. And then on Sunday, we said, we're playing together the first time, we can't play for money. European Tour didn't like that, as well, cameras and micros and all this stuff. So then I won the tournament and I got all my money back somehow with the prize money. So that was one of the memories.

And the chip-in, the whole playoff was pretty exciting. I thought my 5-iron second shot was actually really close to the pin and I just got stuck on top of the bunker lip there. And then the chip-in and everything what happened after that was massive. All the Chinese crowd was really cool, such a big high. Great memories.

Q. Can you just talk us through the circumstances about how you got into this tournament, because originally you weren't going to be able to come and defend your title, and your feelings on that.
MARCEL SIEM: Marco Kaussler always held back an invitation for me to be able to defends my title. It was just about having a chance to play this week and the money counts towards The Race to Dubai so I can still qualify for Race to Dubai.

Before the HSBC, I would have been in, but three guys overtook me that week. So don't have to talk about that -- but I'm in now. I was first reserve, put it that way. And we still had one invitation left, and the Tour and Marco decided they are going to put that invitation back into the field and I slipped in on my ranking, which is a common sense; like last week with Thomas Björn, as well. Great feeling that I have a chance to get the Race to Dubai.

Q. You told us you changed your coach three weeks ago, so what is the reason for changing coach, because we know a lot of good players change coach quite often and a lot of players stay with one coach for a long time. What's your opinion on that? And you only have the new coach for three weeks, so when do you think you will get your best performance with this coach?
MARCEL SIEM: I have my coach for 26 years, and he will still be my assistant. He's a very good friend of mine, as well, and when I come back, I will talk with G√ľnter about what I did with Damian Taylor. But I just needed a change.

I was -- you know, sometimes you just need a new idea of a golf swing, and the last few years, we were working on the same things, and I didn't see the improvement of my clubface, and I just wanted to have a new, fresh idea. With Damian Taylor, we clicked straightaway. It's hard work, like he says, it's not that easy, with a new coach, especially after 26 or 27 years doing something new.

But we are going step by step. And I think it will take some time. It still feels a little untidy in a few shots, but I worked really hard the last three weeks. I've hit a lot of golf balls. I had a feeling yesterday on the range that I was able to get my feeling together with the new technique, and I think that's the most important thing. If you're too technical all the time and thinking about three or four times in a swing, you've got no chance.

So I was able now to get it down to one swing thought, and who knows, I think I'm ready to go. So it's not really a super big, big, big swing change. It's little things. I would never go and change my whole golf swing. I'm 35 years old, still have 15 years to The Seniors Tour, but I'm not the youngest guy here anymore, either. So I think it's very dangerous to go hard core on your swing and do everything different.

So little tweaks; and we are working on my right hand and getting my clubface square. I think I'm ready to go.

PAUL SYMES: Thanks, Marcel, and have a great week.

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