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Siem leads by 4, creeps closer to Masters bid

Marcel Siem
Getty Images
SINGAPORE - MARCH 06: Lorena Ochoa of Mexico on the par five 5th hole during the second round of HSBC Women's Champions at the Tanah Merah Country Club on March 6, 2009 in Singapore. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)  - 

After a 3-under 69 Saturday in Morocco, Marcel Siem is now 18 holes away from his first trip down Magnolia Lane.

The German carded five birdies against two bogeys during the third round of the Trophee Hassan II, growing his lead to four shots after 54 holes in the process. Despite entering the week at No. 72 in the Official World Golf Rankings, Siem would likely crack the top 50 with a win Sunday - a move that would earn him an invitation to the Masters for the first time in his career.

Siem leads by four shots over a trio of golfers, including Englishman David Horsey, in search of his third career European Tour victory. The German has made the cut in three of four prior major championship appearances, including last year's PGA Championship at Kiawah Island when he finished tied for 36th. Earlier this season he lost 1-up to Luke Donald in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and last month he tied for 39th at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.

This marks the final week for players to earn an invite to the season's first major via the world rankings system. For players outside the top 50 after this week, the only remaining avenue by which to earn a trip to Augusta National would be a win at next week's Valero Texas Open.