Marcel Siem wins in Shanghai as Race to Dubai reaches home stretch

The German holed out on a birdie chip from the sand in a play-off on Sunday to edge out Alexander Levy and Ross Fisher for the first title from the four European Tour Final Series tournaments.

Marcel Siem of Germany celebrates after winning the BMW Shanghai Masters golf tournament at the Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai on Sunday. Goh Chai Hin / AFP / November 2, 2014
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Germany’s Marcel Siem battled blustery conditions and a touch of nerves over the closing holes Sunday to secure the BMW Masters with a dramatic chip-in at the first play-off hole.

France’s Alexander Levy started the day five shots clear of Siem but was unable to cope with winds gusting to near gale force and slumped to a 6-over par round of 78.

He finished tied for the lead on 16-under with Siem, who shot 73 on the par-72 Lake Malaren course, and England’s Ross Fisher.

The round of the day belonged to Fisher, who shot a 5-under 67 to claw back 11 shots on Levy and get into the play-off.

No one else in the 78-man field managed better than 69 Sunday as the wind bared its teeth after three days of low-scoring in windless, soft conditions.

The trio trouped back to the 18th to go head-to-head into the fierce wind.

Both Fisher and Levy found the putting surface but Siem came up short in the thick rough at the 471-yard closing par four.

But the German found the cup with his sand wedge to a huge roar from the galleries.

Both Fisher and Levy then missed their own birdie putts and Siem could gratefully claim his fourth European Tour victory and his second via a play-off.

The German could have won it in regulation a few minutes earlier after Levy bogeyed the 18th.

But his eight foot par putt for the win was pushed horribly right of the cup as the nerves undoubtedly kicked in.

Tied for fourth on 15-under par were Ryder Cup stars Jamie Donaldson and Justin Rose.

Donaldson started the day on 18-under par but fell back after finding the water at both the sixth and the 12th holes, eventually carding a 75.

Rose returned a respectable level-par 72 in the conditions, but will probably cast his mind back to Thursday’s first round when he carded a triple bogey eight at the straightforward par-five 13th.

Even a bogey that day would have meant he would have lifted the trophy on Sunday.

Shanghai hosted the first of the four European Tour Final Series tournaments. It will also play home to the second this weekend, the WGC-HSBC Champions event at Sheshan International Golf Club.

The next weekend will see the Tour move to Turkey for the Turkish Airlines Open before the finale starting November 20 DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

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