Guan has made the cut in both his starts on the PGA TOUR this season. (Revere/Getty Images)
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion who made history earlier this month by becoming the youngest player to play in and make the cut at the Masters, has accepted a sponsor exemption to play in the HP Byron Nelson Championship, tournament officials announced Tuesday.
"What Guan has been able to accomplish at such a young age is very impressive," tournament chairman Mike McKinley said. "We have always had a tradition of identifying young talent and giving them an opportunity to compete at the Nelson, and we look forward to continuing that with Guan."
Guan captured low amateur honors at the Masters. He also made the cut at last week's Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Dustin Johnson and Marcel Siem committed to play at TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas, May 13-19.
Johnson was scheduled to play in this week's Wells Fargo Championship but withdrew because of a sore wrist.
Marcel Siem has played fantastic golf since a very tough start to his week. (Little/Getty Images)
By Tim Price, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
SAN ANTONIO -- Before the Valero Texas Open came to TPC San Antonio three years ago, the tournament was played at a course that bordered a roller coaster.
That thing is a long-gone part of the 90-plus-year history of the event, yet there’s someone making a roller coaster ride here this week. It’s Marcel Siem, the recognizable “Man With The Golden Bun.”
Consider the action: Siem looked to be in the field for The Masters when he impressively won the Trophy Hassan II in Morocco last week.
When Russell Henley shot a 68 in the final round in the Shell Houston Open a few hours after Siem‘s win, Siem was out by .003 points in the top 50 of the world rankings.
Siem took the sponsor’s exemption to come to San Antonio, needing a win to go to Augusta. But he quickly hit the depths once again by playing the first 16 holes in 5-over on Thursday. But he’s 9-under since then.
His opening 16 holes included four bogeys and two doubles. He’s got 12 birdies in the 38 holes since, with three bogeys and no doubles.
So, the 32-year-old Siem thinks it’s not out of the realm of possibilities to win and pull out a Masters invite. His 3-under round of 69 on Saturday has given him at least a miracle-seekers chance of winning. He’s 4-under with 18 to play.
“You never know,” Siem said. “If I got it to six or seven under there would be a great chance for tomorrow still. There’s still a chance. I like the course. I see a six or seven under here possible, even with the wind if you get it in the right positions.”
Siem would have the momentum if not for the final three holes at AT&T Oaks. He practically shanked his tee shot on the seventh (his 16th hole) and bogeyed. He birdied No. 8 but, with that shank still in his mind two holes later, he hit a shaky gap wedge to miss the green at No. 9 after a 330-yard drive to finish his round with bogey.
“(Without) those two hiccups on 7 and 9 today on the last three holes I would be very happy,” Siem said. “I hit a -- I don’t even want to say that word -- on 7. It was pretty close to the shaft there, first time in my life (to hit it like that) in a tournament.
“I had the gap wedge in (at No. 9) and backed off, thought about the shot at 7, then hit it on the toe. It’s weird. I’m full of confidence actually. I will be all right tomorrow.”
MARANA, Ariz. -- Luke Donald staved off the kind of upset bid that caught up with the world's No. 1 and 2 players late Thursday when he won the 18th hole to beat Marcel Siem.
Donald made six birdies, including a pair on the last two holes -- the first from 9 feet to halve the 17th and the second from 7 for the win. Three of those birdies had come on the front nine as the Englishman built a 2-up advantage.
But Siem, who was making his World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship debut, began to assert himself on the back nine. The pony-tailed German won the 10th hole with a chip-in birdie, the 11th when Donald bogeyed and the 12th with a 28-foot birdie putt to take his only lead of the day.
"I didn't worry because I was hitting good shots still," the Englishman said. "I hit a couple left shots on the back nine but drove it great today, hardly missed a fairway, hit a lot of solid iron shots and putted well. I obviously made it tough on him, too, and I just ... felt good about my game, so I wasn't worried when I went 1 down on 12."
Donald, who was the 2011 champion at Dove Mountain, answered with a 6-foot birdie putt at the par-5 13th to even the match. The next four holes were halved with a bogey, two pars and a birdie, before Donald converted at No. 18 for the win after Siem missed from 13 feet.
"I had to finish strong against Marcel," Donald said. "He pushed me all the way. He really played solid today. I threw six birdies in, but he had a couple chip-ins and holed some long putts and made it very difficult. It's always nice to get through that first round, and sometimes having a tough match is a good thing."
Donald faces Scott Piercy, a 4-and-3 winner over Paul Lawrie in his Accenture Match Play Championship debut, in Friday's second round.
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.
Marcel Siem's British Open debut ended with a solid 67 that he acknowledged was above average on one a day when the Old Course was rendered nearly defenseless.
"Compared to yesterday, it was a lot easier," the 30-year-old German said. "Yesterday was unplayable. It all depends on the wind. You know, St. Andrews is not the toughest course in the world if there's no wind, so I think 3 under is an average round."
Siem may not be a household name in the United States but he did team with Bernhard Langer to win the World Cup in Barbados in 2006. He's played in two Deutsche Bank Championships, too, shooting a 62 in the second round in 2005 that tied what was then the course record. -- Helen Ross
Marcel Siem had never played in a British Open before he teed off at 6:41 on Thursday morning with Loren Roberts and Mathew Goggin.
The 30-year-old German has proven to be a quick study, though. He birdied four of his first seven holes to take sole possession of the lead -- and even though John Daly has now passed him, Siem is hanging tough.
Siem, who is 4 under through 15 holes, has struggled this season on the European Tour where his only win came in 2004. His lone top-10 came last month at the Celtic Manor Wales Open when he finished solo seventh.
While he hasn’t had enormous success of late, though, Siem may have been destined to be a golfer. He started playing golf when he was 2 years old. His parents ran a restaurant at Burge Overbach golf course in Cologne, Germany, – Helen Ross
There’s a shroud of gray over the Old Course Thursday morning but so far, the wet stuff has been reduced to a wee mist and the wind is calm. Heavier rain is expected – accompanied by thunder – as the day progresses and the gusts may kick up to 25 mph.
Those players with early tee times likely will be the fortunate ones today. Just ask John Daly, who made the turn at 5 under, and Marcel Siem and John Senden, who are two strokes behind through 12 holes.
Friday’s forecast calls for heavy rain in the morning with possible sunny spells in the afternoon when the winds blow from the southwest at 15-20 mph. The weekend forecast offers a little relief with periods of dry weather mixed with light rain.
We knew the sunshine that bathed the Old Course earlier in the week couldn’t last. It is the British Open, after all. – Helen Ross