Second places in Winsen: Siem and Kieffer inspire fans
Two German golfers only missed out on winning the golf tournament in Winsen by a hair’s breadth – but delighted the crowds. A young Northern Irishman is responsible for the surprise.
Crowd favorite Marcel Siem was honest after narrowly missing out on victory at the golf tournament in Winsen/Luhe, Lower Saxony. A warped tee shot into a water hazard on the 16th fairway may have cost him the title.
The 42-year-old from Ratingen made a mistake in the distance to the water, his shot went too long and the ball sank in the lake. A penalty was the result. “It was embarrassing,” admitted Siem after his second place at the Porsche European Open. “I actually know the place inside and out.”
Siem finished the $2 million DP World Tour tournament with a total of 285 shots, sharing second place with Maximilian Kieffer from Düsseldorf. Tom McKibbin from Northern Ireland, who was only 20 years old, secured the title on the difficult par 73 course just outside Hamburg, needing two strokes less than the two German golf pros. Martin Kaymer was the last German to win a tournament on the European tour in front of a home crowd in Munich in 2008.
20-year-old McKibbin surprises
Tour veteran Siem was completely enthusiastic about the atmosphere on the Green Eagle golf course. “It was so beautiful,” he said. It was one of the “greatest rounds of golf” that he was allowed to play in front of so many spectators in his career. “I’ve played them all since 1999. In terms of atmosphere, it was by far the nicest tournament.” Since he and Kieffer played for victory, it was a really important tournament for the future and for our younger golfers in Germany.
But a 20-year-old Northern Irishman caused the surprise in Winsen. McKibbin received $340,000 in prize money for his maiden victory on the DP World Tour (formerly European Tour), celebrating the biggest success of his career. The youngster, who was number 335 in the golfing world before the tournament, hails from the same home club as Northern Ireland’s golf star Rory McIlroy, Holywood Golf Club.
The tournament in Winsen celebrated a record attendance this year: 23,500 fans came to the facility during the four days in glorious summer weather. “I’m very, very happy with the development,” said tournament director Dirk Glittenberg. He was confident that the tournament will be played in Winsen again next year. One is currently in talks with the sponsors and the DP World Tour. His boss, Keith Pelley, flew in from London on Sunday.