In 2020, the days of professional golfer Sim, who was considered the successor to Bernard Langer at the turn of the millennium, seemed numbered. Due to the lack of results, he lost his right to start in the first European League. And so the 41-year-old was faced with a decision: either compete again in the lower-tier Challenge Round against players twenty years younger than him, or stop altogether.
Siem, who was also in financial trouble despite having millions in prize money, decided to try again – thus starting a surprising and, above all, successful comeback.
Sim: “Unbelievable experience”
Dirk Schimmel, who also took care of Martin Kaymer during his successful years, became his new advisor. And in front of his daughter, he won the emotional Challenge Tour of France last year. The following week he automatically secured a place in the only major European tournament, the Open Championship.
Sim was in group 1 in the links course in St. George two days later and took an exciting 15th place in the Best in the World. A return that wasn’t thought possible and: “A wonderful experience. I was so warmly embraced by so many people when I came back. It was so good for me.”
Marcel Sim is a passionate person. This makes it more difficult to pass the challenging special stages as well as the lower sports levels. His wife Laura was diagnosed with cancer which has now gone as far as one can tell. He survived a nagging wrist injury “90 percent”.
Green Eagle, favorite place
Good prerequisites for a successful performance in his preferred location in Germany. And a fact. At first, the guy with the braid managed to get around on an equal footing. First on the fifth start in Winsen an der Luhe: “You can see how much heart and soul Bleschi puts in this facility. It’s a great game, but also a very challenging track.”
“Bleschi” means Michael Bleach. At the same time the owner and chief maintenance officer of Green Eagle golf courses and a close friend of Siem’s for years. That’s why the 41-year-old spends a few training days at Winsen from time to time.
Siim is well prepared
Big advantage. You have to be mentally prepared for the course which is about 7000m long and takes on water hazards in 17 out of 18 holes. “We’re used to attacking fivefold holes with two shots. And that usually doesn’t work here. And with parity 4, you don’t have 9 irons or wedges in the green as usual, but 5 or 6 irons. That’s a huge difference and makes it incredibly stressful.”
Germany’s first championship win since 2014?
So he will be there when it comes to winning the championship this weekend. It will be the first time for a German professional since November 2014, when Marcel Sime just won: “I know it’s sinking in me, I have to get it out again. I would like to win again and of course that would be great. In front of a German audience.”
Dream of a big leap in the world rankings
But he has other goals. To beat his best place in the world rankings. That was number 49. He would have liked to play in this year’s British Open, which is being held for the 150th time. In 2004, Sims celebrated their first major championship at the “Home of Golf” in St Andrews, Scotland, north of Edinburgh.
Problem: Sim hasn’t qualified yet – and the odds are dwindling as the tournament approaches. But he has a plan B: “I was thinking of writing a letter to the organizers of ‘Open’ in St. Andrews, asking if they could give me an invite. I heard they could give a few.”