Siem joined a host of European Tour stars including Thomas Björn, Ross Fisher and Ian Poulter when he earned the milestone victory, as the Challenge Tour continues to produce some of the world’s top golfers.Per-Ulrik Johansson became the first player from the Challenge Tour to triumph among the big boys on The European Tour when he won the Renault Belgian Open on the way to becoming the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year in 1991. It was the first of six European Tour victories in a distinguished career which also included two Ryder Cup appearances.
While he was announcing his name on the world stage, another young Swede, Mathias Grönberg, was forging his career on the Challenge Tour, before going on to win the 50th European Tour title by a former Challenge Tour player at the 2000 South African Open.Poulter was the next to join the milestone victory list when he made it 100 at the 2003 Wales Open in The Celtic Manor Resort, the scene of one of his crowning moments in The 2010 Ryder Cup when he beat Matt Kuchar 5&4 in the singles to contribute to a 14½-13½ victory for the European Team.
He was followed by another Ryder Cup star and one of the great ambassadors of the Challenge Tour, Björn, who made it number 150 with his victory at the 2006 Irish Open, before David Dixon took the total to 200 thanks to his sole European Tour victory at the SAINT-OMER OPEN presented by Neuflize OBC in 2008.Fisher made it title number 250 for former Challenge Tour players with his win at the 2010 Irish Open, before Siem claimed the 300th victory last weekend.
The Challenge Tour continues to grow in strength and the conveyor belt of talent produced another star when 2012’s breakthrough player Branden Grace claimed three European Tour victories in the space of four months having gained four years of experience on the second tier before his incredible purple patch on the big stage.Indeed, 16 of the 25 wins on The European Tour this season have come from former Challenge Tour players, including Volvo World Match Play champion Nicolas Colsaerts, Irish Open winner Jamie Donaldson and Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship victor Robert Rock.
The Challenge Tour has also provided four Major wins, with Michael Campbell becoming the first former Challenge Tour player to win one of golf’s ‘big four’ when he won the 2005 US Open Championship before being followed by Tremor Immelman (2008 Masters Tournament), Louis Oosthuizen (2010 Open Championship) and Martin Kaymer (2010 US PGA Championship).Additionally, two former Challenge Tour players have gone on to emerge as Europe’s Number One player, Justin Rose doing so in 2007 before Martin Kaymer followed in his footsteps by winning the 2010 Race to Dubai.
Challenge Tour Director Alain de Soultrait said: “As a player who has been a regular on The European Tour for many years and is now a two-time European Tour winner, Marcel Siem is a perfect example of the enduring quality of player which the Challenge Tour produces year-in, year-out.
“These 300 victories, as well as four Major victories and 20 Ryder Cup players, are testament to the professionalism and high standards of the Challenge Tour. Many of the world’s best players have mentioned the experience gained in our tour as a huge factor in their success and that is sure to continue this year and beyond.“We must congratulate Marcel for his victory and we hope his success continues.”