Marcel Siem from Germany leads at the European Tour event, Trophée Hassan 11, being staged at Golf du Palais Royal in Morocco. It is the 40th Anniversary of this competition, which was established by the late King of Morocco in 1971.
Marcel Siem / Getty Images
Marcel Siem shot a first round of -8 under par 64 at the Trophée Hassan II, to lead by three shots from Spaniard Alvaro Velasco, who had a more modest first round of -5 under par 67.
Marcel is keen to earn his debut place at the Masters next month, he will need to keep playing like this to achieve that goal. Apart from playing well Marcel also said he enjoyed some good luck today;
” Sometimes you need a bit of luck in this game and thankfully today was one of those days where it went my way. I didn’t know I still had a chance for the Masters but now we know there are four or five of us in the field here who still might be able to get to the Masters if we win here. It is a nice incentive but I came here first and foremost to play this tournament and play this golf course. The Masters would be pretty special but I just have to concentrate on what I am doing in this tournament.”
There are three English players tied in third position at -4 under par, they are; David Horsey, Graeme Storm and Simon Wakefield.
Simon said he was shocked to be in this position, he is still chasing a maiden European Tour victory after almost 300 events.
” It was one of those days when you go out there on a realty tough golf course and the wind is blowing 20-30 miles per hour and you don’t expect to finish on four under. I am shocked to be tied in third but I played well.”
David who won here two years ago said he has good feelings coming back here;
” Hopefully I can start climbing the order of merit now and have a good year because I feel like all the changes I have made have given me a new lease of life. It was very good, I am very happy with the start. I had my fair share of good luck today but you need that in this game and you just have to take advantage of it when it comes your way.I managed to play well today and had the ball under control for the majority of the round. Obviously I had the win here two years ago and I do feed off a lot of those good feelings from that when I come back here. It is a great golf course that is different to what we usually play with a lot of run-offs and raised greens but you can make a score if you play well as I showed today.”
Yesterday Francesco Molinari played in the Pro-Am with the Crown Prince of Morocco, HRH Prince Moulay Rachid. Francesco said it was a great privilege to have partnered the Prince;
” It was a great privilege for me to play with the Prince, I had the chance to meet him last night and he is a very nice, down to earth guy. He just loves his golf and is very knowledgeable about the game and the top players. It is not every day that you get the chance to play golf with Royalty so it is a very humbling experience for me.”
Omar Lahjomri, HRH Prince Moulay Rachid, Francesco Molinari & Jalil Bennis / Getty Images
Francesco did not have a good first round today, finishing at +1 over par 73.