European pro mistakenly racks up penalty strokes, DQs himself

October 17, 2019
Marcel Siem french open penalty rules

It’s Rules Week here at GOLF.com β€” at least, it’s become that way. On Sunday, Jesper Parnevik kicked things off on the PGA Tour Champions by mistakenly not taking a re-try on a short putt (yeah, you read that right) and picked up a couple of penalty strokes in the process. Monday the excitement shifted to the Senior LPGA Championship, where Lee Ann Walker’s caddie lined her up on putts 21 different times (29 times over two days) en route to a dramatic 127-90 missed cut.

Now we’ve got a dispatch coming from across the pond. The French Open kicked off Thursday at Le Golf National, the host site of last year’s Ryder Cup. It was a wet day in France, and German Marcel Siem somehow came under the impression that the decision had been made to play preferred lies.

Unfortunately, no such decision had been made. Siem had made it through nine holes β€” and taken five preferred lies β€” when he learned that in fact they were playing the ball down. Oops!

As with Walker’s caddie-alignment penalty, this is one that can whack you repeatedly. Five violations of Rule 14.7a (playing a ball from the wrong place) added up to 10 penalty strokes. Yikes. Siem said in a Facebook post afterwards that the penalty total was more than enough for him to DQ himself from the event.

Siem has fallen from a peak of World No. 48 to No. 797 and will now prepare for a return to Q-School in the hopes of getting full European Tour status back (he was 189th in the Race to Dubai standings entering the week). German GOLF.com readers can read Siem’s complete comments in a Facebook post after the round below, in which Siem writes, “I promise I’ll be back.”