Adrian Otaegui wins maiden European Tour title in Germany
Spaniard produces a brilliant fightback to beat home favourite Marcel Siem 2&1
Adrian Otaegui beat home favourite Marcel Siem to secure his maiden European Tour title. Matthew Lewis/Getty
Spain’s Adrian Otaegui produced a brilliant fightback to win his first European Tour title and break German hearts by beating Marcel Siem 2&1 in the final of the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play.
Siem looked to be in command of the contest as he moved three up after just eight holes, but missed crucial short putts on the back nine at Bad Griesbach Golf Resort.
Otaegui, who had not previously been more than one down in any of his first five matches, birdied the 10th to reduce his deficit and won the next with a par after Siem failed to get up and down from short of the green.
Siem, who was looking to emulate Bernhard Langer and Martin Kaymer in winning a European Tour event on home soil, then missed from eight feet for eagle to win the 12th, but made amends with a brilliant approach to two feet on the next.
However, the 37-year-old German missed from inside three feet for par on the 14th and found himself back to all square when he could not match Otaegui’s conceded birdie on the next.
Otaegui also birdied the short par-four 16th after driving the green and took the lead for the first time when Siem missed another putt from inside three feet for the half.
And the comeback was completed in memorable style when Otaegui holed from 25 feet for birdie on the 17th, ensuring he had not needed to play the 18th hole all week.
“I’m just so happy,” said the 24-year-old, who has been mentored for the early part of his career by double Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal.
“I played good golf and Marcel missed a couple of shots but I was very, very focused. I knew I could do it and the way I finished was just the perfect finish of the week.”
Otaegui, who had earlier thrashed fellow Spaniard Alejandro Canizares 6&5 in the semi-finals, added on Sky Sports: “I hit a very good drive on 15, then a perfect seven iron to one foot.
“We went to the 16th and I thought about hitting three wood or driver and Ian, my caddie, said hit driver to try to pitch it on the green and thanks to him I hit a driver perfect to the back of the green for a two-putt, and then the last putt on 17 was magic.
“I’ve been playing well all week. There has been a few mistakes but I was very solid all week and I’m coming back with the trophy.”
Siem had been eight under par for 16 holes in beating Sweden’s Johan Carlsson 3&2 in the semi-finals, with Carlsson going on to beat Canizares by the same score in the third/fourth place play-off.