Marcel Siem ended a nine-year wait for his fifth DP World Tour title after securing an emotional victory at the Hero Indian Open.
The German trailed Yannik Paul by one ahead of the final round but a four under par round of 68 meant he finished one clear of his countryman on 14 under par, sparking scenes of jubilation on the 18th green at DLF Golf and Country Club.
The German pair were joined by Dutchman Joost Luiten in the last group and it proved to be a three-horse race throughout the final day in New Delhi.
Siem was the first to make his move with a birdie at the fourth to draw level with third round leader Paul, before back-to-back birdies immediately after the turn saw the 42-year-old steam into a two-stroke lead.
It was all-change at the 13th, with Siem dropping his only shot of the day while Paul picked up his second birdie and the duo were once again level.
Siem, who was forced to regain his playing privileges at Qualifying School in 2022, took a two-stroke advantage to the par five 18th after birdieing the 15th, but it was not all plain sailing.
He found a difficult lie with his lay-up but, despite a closing birdie for Paul, managed to escape with a par to end a 3,038-day wait for a fifth DP World Tour title, the last of which was at the 2014 BMW Masters.
Paul’s bogey-free round of 70 meant he secured his second runner-up finish in as many weeks, with Luiten following his tie for third at the Thailand Classic with another third place at the Hero Indian Open on 12 under par.
Four strokes back in a share of fourth place were Spain’s Jorge Campillo and Japan’s Kazuki Higa, with last week’s winner Thorbjørn Olesen and another German, Alex Knappe, sharing sixth place on seven under par.
Shubhankar Sharma and Veer Ahlawat finished India’s national Open as the leading Indian players in a tie for 13th place on four under par.
Marcel Siem: “After that fist pump on 11 I said I have to stop this in this heat, I was gone for two holes. I had to collect myself. I had to stay as calm as possible but that lie was horrible on the last so it got the heart rate pumping.
“I’ve worked really hard and it’s crazy. Second kickstart for my career. I was gone. Lost my card, Challenge Tour, Q School. Thank you so much to my family, my team and my sponsors. I think there’s more to come now.
“The win on the Challenge Tour was very special, very emotional with my daughter. We just moved to Mauritius three weeks ago, I moved the family there. This means a lot. Two years ago, I wasn’t even sure if I could compete on the DP World Tour, now I’m a winner again. Come on.
“Winning a golf tournament, being back in the winner’s circle now, it means everything to me. It’s just unbelievable. It was tough out there with Yannik, he played unbelievable. No room for errors.
“Coming from top 20s straight to a win [is unexpected]. My goal this week was a top ten. I never really had the feeling that this was my week. I played with Joost in Thailand, he finished third there, Yannik came with a top two from last week so I thought I needed to do something special to win this golf tournament. They played great, so well done guys.
“That Qualifying School category is not a good category. You have a card but you never know when you’re going to get the starts. You have to play literally everything and now I can choose and pick where I want to go again, it makes life a lot easier. I can prepare properly on the golf course, it’s a life-changer. I just can’t believe it. It’s amazing.”