• Home
  • Golf
  • Comeback King Marcel Siem Beats Tom McKibbin In Play Off To Win Italian Open

Comeback king Marcel Siem beats Tom McKibbin in play-off to win Italian Open

Germany's Marcel Siem emerged victorious against Northern Ireland's Tom McKibbin in a play-off to seal his sixth DP World Tour title after a dramatic finale to the Italian Open.

Siem birdied the 18th to force a play-off and then repeated the feat on the first extra hole to deny McKibbin an unlikely triumph at Adriatic Golf Club Cervia.

McKibbin, 21, began the day six shots behind a four-way tie for the lead and teed off three hours before the final group, but carded a flawless closing 65 to set the clubhouse target on 10 under par.

Even that did not look like being enough when joint leaders Siem and Antoine Rozner reached 13 under par, only for the final pair to collapse on the back nine.

Siem, who had birdied the third, fourth and eighth, bogeyed the 11th, 14th, 15th and 17th to fall one behind, but then holed from 22 feet for birdie on the last and around half that distance on the first extra hole.

Rozner, who only made the cut with a birdie on the 18th in round two before carding a brilliant 62 on Saturday, reached 13 under after his third birdie of the day on the 12th, but then dropped five shots in the next five holes.

"It was really, really tough," said Siem, who was playing just his fourth event since undergoing hip surgery earlier this year.

"Everyone was making bogeys and doubles, the wind was swirling and the pins were tucked in the corners.

"Holing that putt on 18 [in regulation] was one of the coolest moments in golf for me and doing it again there in the play-off was fantastic.

"I love this sport. It's so much fun to work hard for it and if you get rewards like this now it can't get any better at the moment."

McKibbin, whose caddie had left the course and headed to a nearby train station when there looked no prospect of a play-off, had the consolation of joining American Sean Crocker in securing the two qualifying places for the upcoming Open Championship at Royal Troon.

Crocker finished in a tie for third with Germany's Jannik De Bruyn but gained the berth thanks to his world ranking.

McKibbin, who recently made his major debut in the US Open at Pinehurst and played the final round alongside world number one Scottie Scheffler, said: "I got a taste of what the US Open was like a couple of weeks ago so I'm looking forward to going to Troon. I'm thrilled.

"I've never played it but I went to one of the practice rounds there the last time it was played [in 2016]. I can't remember anything about it but I've been."

More Articles