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June 17 2011

11:58 PM

Siem has quite a turnaround

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Marcel Siem followed his opening 79 with a 66 on Friday.

By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM

BETHESDA, Md. --  Marcel Siem's first U.S. Open got off to a rocky start.

He hit a spectator and opened with a double bogey. He had five three-putts, courtesy of a misunderstanding with his coach over his putting stroke. He was nervous, lost his confidence and shot 79. He even warned his hotel he might not be staying Friday night. He could be headed home.

But what a difference a day makes. Friday, Siem came to play, tied Rory McIlroy with the day's low round of 66 and made it to the weekend at Congressional.

"Today, all of a sudden, I found my rhythm on the greens, and that helps, and my long game was really, really good, as well," said Siem, who pitched in on the 15th from 30 meters. "I hit them really close, and I think that's the key here. The greens are so slopey and if you have all day long five, six, seven meter putts for birdie, it's tough to hole them. I hit them really close three or four times. The pitch‑in helps, and yeah, I'm really, really happy, really proud of myself."

He was still a bit worried this morning, thinking the cut might be low because of the scoring. "On 18, I wasn't sure if it was 3‑ or 4‑over, and my caddie said, just hole it, don't leave it short or something, because if you miss by one that's horrible,'' he said. "I said, all right, that's a good one, I have to go for it."

Siem is now 2-for-2 in major cuts made. His first major was last year's British Open.

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