AGADIR, Morocco -- Marcel Siem completed a wire-to-wire victory at the Hassan II Trophy on Sunday to all but confirm his debut appearance at the Masters.
Siem overcame a shaky start to the final round, when his four-shot lead was quickly erased by Mikko Ilonen, before eventually prevailing by three strokes.
Siem's third European Tour success also could be further sweetened by a first appearance at Augusta National in two weeks with his victory likely to send him into the world's top 50. That would be enough to secure an invitation to the Masters, although he will have to await the final results of the Shell Houston Open before booking his flights to Georgia.
"That will be unbelievable," Siem said of his chance to get into the Masters. "It's been my dream since I was a kid, so if that comes true it will be unbelievable. It would be wonderful to play the Masters.
"I just want to be on that ground," he added. "I'm not going to cry, but it would be very emotional."
Siem's final-round 70 was his worst score of the week and it looked as though disaster might strike when Ilonen, who shook off a bout of food poisoning overnight, drew level by the fourth hole.
Siem bogeyed the first before Ilonen secured a hat trick of birdies from the second to suddenly put his rival's Masters dream under threat.
The German responded impressively with birdies at the fifth and seventh, and the momentum turned his way irretrievably on the 11th with a birdie Ilonen could only match with a bogey.
In the end Siem signed for 2-under-par 70 for the day, and a 17-under total, with Ilonen having to be content with a share of second alongside England's David Horsey after they both shot 69.