World Cup winner Marcel Siem gives back to the tour that launched his career this week at the inaugural POSTBANK Challenge, presented by Marcel Siem.
The desire to give something back to the game that has given them fame and fortune is a common trait among professional golfers, and Siem will do exactly that when he takes part in his own tournament at the Golfclub Mülheim an der Ruhr, in Dusseldorf.
Siem is emulating Denmark’s Thomas Björn, who established the Thomas Björn Open two years ago, as the second former Challenge Tour player to establish a new tournament on the tour that has, since 1991, produced 87 winners of 188 European Tour events.
Siem, who played on the Challenge Tour in seasons 2001 and 2002, took the decision to stage a Challenge Tour event in his homeland at the beginning of this year.
“The Challenge Tour continues to get stronger and prosper every year and I hope that my tournament – with the help and backing of sponsors POSTBANK – can be a part of that for many years to come,” he said.
“I am delighted that now, with the change of date, I will be able to play in my tournament. I said right from the outset that it was always my intention to play in the event if we could find a suitable date that would allow me to do so, and now we have.
“Obviously I will give my best because I am a professional and, as with every tournament I play in, I would go out and try to win. But if I did win prize money, I’m pretty sure it would not go into my pocket, it would go back into the tournament for the following year.”
Siem partnered his hero Bernhard Langer to victory in the WGC – Barbados World Cup last December and won the 2004 dunhill championship on The European Tour.
The 27 year old paid tribute to sponsors POSTBANK who have helped him develop his idea, Challenge Tour Director Alain de Soultrait who has supported him along the way, and also to a friend in Dusseldorf who owns a BMW franchise and will provide a 25 strong fleet of courtesy cars for use by the players this week.
“As far as the cars are concerned, I just want to show the Challenge Tour players what life is like on The European Tour and if they work hard they can have stuff like that every week.
“A lot of the guys who will play in Germany have already come up to me on the ranges at tournaments and thanked me for what I am trying to do which is nice. If I have a chance to improve my tournament then I will do it because I want the players to go home thinking it is a great tournament and one they would want to play in and feel good.”
In Germany this week, the battle to move further up the 2007 Challenge Tour Rankings will continue. Confirmed entries include eight winners so far from this season, with England’s Peter Baker, Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey, England’s Ross McGowan and New Zealand’s Gareth Paddison all keen to win an exciting new event, as well as take the added scalp of Siem in the process should they triumph.