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Marcel Siem

Siem DQs himself after bizarre rules breach

Marcel Siem is the latest player to fall foul of rules officials this week when he quit the Open de France
 

The weird rules breaches just keep on coming. In a week that’s seen Jesper Parnevik sanctioned after tapping in a putt that hit his foot, and Lee Ann Walker given 58 shots for using her caddie to line her up at the Senior LPGA Championship, the reason for Marcel Siem’s disqualification at the Open de France isn’t at all out of place.

The German was 1-over-par after nine holes of his first round at Le Golf National, in Paris, when he learned he would receive 10 penalty strokes because he had mistakenly believed preferred lies were in operation in the damp conditions at the Ryder Cup venue.

Siem was in breach of Rule 14.7a, which is playing a ball from a wrong place.

That comes with a two-stroke cost and, because the rule was breached on five occasions, he would have incurred a separate penalty for each under Rule 1.3c (4).

After learning his fate, he disqualified himself from the tournament he won back in 2012. He then took to Facebook to say:

For those who don’t speak German, the translation is very roughly:

“Suitably to the whole season I have now even better laid on the fairway and the whole 5 times. Then of course I played the ball from the wrong place and got 10 penalty shots. That was a little too much for me and I disqualified myself. I thought to myself, I owe you the explanation.

“Now I will meticulously prepare myself for the Qualifying School in November to get the full tour card back so that we can finally move forward again. Thanks for the cheering and keeping your fingers crossed. Soon it will bring something again, I promise! I’ll be back.”

Officially, the European Tour said he was disqualified for “failure to complete a hole” having not completed his round.

Preferred lies are part of what are more colloquially known as ‘winter rules’, which are designed to help fair play and protect the fairway. There are two Local Rules relevant to committees, or tournament organisers, outlined in the R&A Official Guide to the Rules of Golf.

Marcel Siem

Model E-2 covers cleaning the ball and E-3 covers preferred lies. E-2 is designed to be used when wet ground conditions throughout the course cause mud to stick to the ball and means the committee can allow the player to “lift, clean and replace the ball in the general area”.

E-3 allows players to take free relief “when a player’s ball lies in a part of the general area cut to fairway height or less”.

In E-2, a player must replace the ball on its original spot. With E-3, a reference point and relief area, as well as the size of relief is established.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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