Open Championship 2013 blog

Marcel Siem hopes he has found the secret to Open success on the putting green at Muirfield yesterday with his short game coach Mark Roe.

After the coaching session Roe told Golf Monthly that Siem’s putting stroke had “clicked into place”.

If Roe is right, and if Germany’s Siem can maintain his putting equilibrium, who knows, perhaps this mercurial golfer can get into the mix in a major for the first time this week.

Siem, who turned 33 on Monday, has been accused in the past of having a bad attitude, but he is proving the days of a blurry focus are consigned to history.

For his birthday celebration, for example, he played a practice round at Muirfield with best friend Nicolas Colsearts, ate dinner with his parents and went to bed at 9pm. Model professional.

“Over the last three years I have watched Marcel develop and become a much more professional golfer,” says Roe, the former European Tour golfer who is also polishing the short game of Francesco Molinari at Muirfield this week.

“He has always had the passion and this exuberance and a great amount of skill. He also has a volcanic temper that has let him down in the past, but when this is channeled correctly it can become a massive positive.

At the French Open last year, for example, he fist-pumped in the air after playing his tee shot on the 17th on his way to winning.

It was unusual to see a golfer react like that after a tee shot but it typifies the way Marcel plays golf, with that burning passion.”

Siem, who won the third European Tour title of his career at the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco in March, hopes his session with Englishman Roe will complete his formula to contend at Muirfield.

His best finish in a major to date has been a tie for 27th in the 2010 Open at St Andrews.

“I have been playing nicely all year,” the German golfer told Golf Monthly on the putting green yesterday.

“I putted horrible last week but still finished 10th in the Scottish Open. My short game, chipping, bunker play and long game are all really good, and it is just my putting I need to get rolling.

“Nobody ever won a golf tournament putting badly. Even decent putting is not good enough – no chance. You can finish in the top 10 or top five with decent putting, but to win you have to putt very well.”

“I asked Marcel to get his hands just a little higher on the putter to make his posture a little more upright, and all of a sudden his stroke clicked back into place,” adds Roe.

“We discussed a couple of key thoughts, but the solutions to short game issues are not in complex thoughts or in complex motions. Sometimes it can be in one key word.

“Marcel has the talent to win this week, although it is a big ask to expect someone to win a major the first time they have been in contention, which is what it would be.

When Marcel is playing well, he is brilliant.”

Barwick travelled to Muirfield with Mercedes-Benz, Official Patron of the Open
Championship and a partner of three Major championships