Agony for Marcel Siem as he misses out on Masters

RARELY does German efficiency come up short but, agonisingly for Marcel Siem, it has on this 
occasion.

Despite winning the Hassan Trophy in Morocco on Sunday, he has missed out on a US Masters debut next week by 0.03 world ranking points.

While victory for DA Points in the Houston Open on the same day sealed his spot in the opening major of the season, Siem’s wire-to-wire success in Agadir failed to lift him inside the top 50.

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After an anxious wait, his hopes were dashed when Russell Henley carded a closing 68 to finish joint-45th in Houston, dropping the American from 49th to 50th but keeping him just above Siem.

Henley, already in the Masters thanks to winning the Sony Open in January, has a points average of 2.37 compared to 2.34 for Siem.

“It’s been my dream since I was a kid so if that comes true it will be unbelievable,” said Siem, speaking after completing his win, of a possible Masters debut. “It would be wonderful to play the Masters.

“I just want to be on that ground. I’m not going to cry but it would be very emotional. I remember as a kid watching Bernhard Langer winning it.”

Like Siem, Scottish trio Stephen Gallacher, Richie Ramsay and Scott Jamieson will also have to wait at least another 12 months to make their Masters debuts as professionals.

As it turned out, Gallacher was the only one among the tartan hopefuls still in with a chance of earning one of the coveted invitations heading into the event in Morocco as both Ramsay and Jamieson were below Siem in the rankings.

In the end, Gallacher, who dropped a spot to 65th, fell 16 spots short while Ramsay, who played at Augusta National as an amateur in 2007, and Jamieson also missed out in 75th and 79th respectively.

It means Scotland’s challenge next week will be two-pronged, with Sandy Lyle, on the 25th anniversary of his Masters win, being joined by world No 34 Paul Lawrie.

Points had missed three cuts in a row and seven of his last nine heading into the Texan event, but he rediscovered his form at just the right time to earn a Masters spot.

He carded a six-under-par 66 on Sunday, including a pressure putt on the 18th, to hold off Swede Henrik Stenson and Billy Horschel, Rickie Fowler’s foursomes partner in the 2007 Walker Cup, and win by one stroke on 16-under.

“It’s been a really tough year, a tough start,” said Points following his victory at Redstone Golf Club. “To have a putt to win – you want that starting out every week. I would have liked it to be a little closer, but I’ve been putting really well.”